College Republicans hold discussion with November candidates

Jenna Staul

The College Republicans engaged in a round table discussion last night with three GOP candidates vying for office in the Ohio state legislature this November.

State senate candidate James Carr, running for the 28th district, and state house candidates Judy Jones, running for the 43rd district, and Roak Zeller, running for the 68th district, sat down with nine members of the College Republicans in the Student Center to discuss key election issues such as health care, education and the economy.

“We need to bring incentives back to get people to set up business in Ohio,” Carr said, citing the need to significantly lower taxes in the state to mirror that of other states like Texas, which does not have an income tax.

“We need to get these taxes down,” Carr said. “Not tax the population into the direction that we’re going, which is like that of Detroit.”

Jones said high taxation of business is one reason for Ohio’s economic struggles.

“Ohio doesn’t stand a chance of attracting businesses,” Jones said of business taxation in Ohio. “But when you cut the taxes for the employer they can build here and hire more employees.”

According to Zeller, Ohio ranks fifth in the nation for large-scale layoffs.

“It’s an awful situation,” Zeller said. “I feel terrible for those folks (who have been laid off).”

The candidates bridged the gap between job loss and the rising costs of education by suggesting that Ohio should subsidize the education of those going into fields that are in high demand in the job market. “We need to follow market forces,” Zeller said. “Increase the subsidies to the master’s students going into fields where there is a shortage. Kent State would be just as happy to turn out political science and English majors. It’s more expensive to turnout nursing majors, but that’s what we need.”

Zeller said one way to curb the ever-rising costs of health care in the state is for Ohio universities to produce more nursing majors and provide more incentive for students to major in nursing.

Zeller said stabilizing the nursing shortage and labor costs would dramatically lower the price of health care for the consumer.

“One of the reasons I decide to run, besides the thousands of Portage County jobs lost is I’m concerned with rising health care costs,” Zeller said. “The types of solutions that the media and the left are suggesting would only make things worse.”

Carr added that unreasonable malpractice suits are also to blame for skyrocketing health care costs.

“Excessive punitive damages are to blame for rising health care costs,” Carr said.

Stephen Ontko, president of the College Republicans, said the topic of health care is not discussed as much as it should be.

“Not enough people are talking about health care reform that is needed and allowing nurses to meet the demands of our health care system,” Ontko said.

Ontko said he supports the candidates platform, which he feels will help alleviate the many issues that currently plague Ohio.

“I think this ticket for the state legislature of Ohio has the necessary proposals to allow Portage County to reach it’s potential.”

Contact student politics reporter Jenna Staul at [email protected]. General assignment reporter Nicole Stempak contributed to this story.