Kasich visits Ravenna Tuesday to rally support for ballot issues

Bethany English

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Broadcast Story by TV2 KSU’s Nathan Edwards.

With Election Day only a week away, Gov. John Kasich spoke to more than 300 Portage County residents at the Maplewood Career Center in Ravenna Tuesday night.

Kasich’s speech motivated members of the Republican Party and Tea Party who were present at the rally to continue to promote Issue 2 and Issue 3 on the Nov. 8 ballot.

“Doing big things is hard,” Kasich said. “It doesn’t get done overnight.”

While Issue 3, which will make Ohio exempt from Obama’s federal healthcare mandate, was mentioned briefly, Kasich’s focus for the night rested on Issue 2. If it passes, Issue 2 will reinstate the provisions of Senate Bill 5.

Ursula Ficht, 75, of Mantua said she supports Issue 2 because she doesn’t think anyone should be required to participate in a union. As a teacher in Germany, the Tea Party member said she had to belong to a union to keep her job.

“I came here in the 50s, and I just loved the freedom,” Ficht said of the United States.

But, Ficht added that she’s concerned that freedom is beginning to change.

Richard Schack, 71, of Kent said it’s important to continue to build support for Issue 2 and 3. He said Tea Party members will continue to go door-to-door and put up signs to enforce their positions as the election looms closer.

Tom Zawistowski, executive director of the Portage County Tea Party, said although this is an off-year for elections, it’s still an important year.

“These are not typical elections,” Zawistowski said of Issues 2 and 3.

While Zawistowski said he would like to see both issues pass, he will still consider Nov. 8 a victory for his group if Issue 3 passes because it’s the direct result of Tea Party efforts in the state.

But for Tea Party member Dawn Pechman exercising a political voice is the most important aspect of participating in government. She suggests that citizens simply go out and vote. After that, Pechman said they should follow up and go to public meetings.

“It’s up to every single one of us to do something,” Pechman said.

And people are getting involved on both sides, especially when it comes to Senate Bill 5.

When asked about the opposition to Issue 2, Kasich said he’s aware that the effort to pass it is “uphill.” But, Kasich also said, if Election Day ends and the issue doesn’t pass, he has other plans to continue working to balance Ohio’s budget.

“We absolutely have to continue to make Ohio more competitive,” he said. “There’s so much change we have to do.”

Contact Bethany English at [email protected]