KSU student, former faculty member to run for state auditor

Don Lesiak is seeking signatures. One thousand of them. And he needs them by 4 p.m. Thursday.

Lesiak, 75, senior guest student at Kent State and 10th-year law student at Cleveland State, is currently circulating petitions to run for the position of state auditor on the Democratic ticket.

To qualify for the position and appear on the May 2 primary ballot, Lesiak must submit the completed petitions signed by at least 1,000 registered Democrats, or registered voters who have previously voted Democrat in a primary.

Lesiak, who previously ran an unsuccessful race as a write-in candidate for Ohio governor in 1970, made his decision to run Thursday when he spoke at the College Democrats meeting.

“I said, ‘If I do it now, this may be the last time,'” Lesiak said. “Just being at the right place at the right time, and I think this is the right time.”

He also cited the current political scandals as one of his motivations for running.

“There’s something wrong … they got it backwards. They’ve made stealing hundreds of millions of dollars more cost effective and more productive because the more money you steal, the less time you get.”

As auditor, Lesiak said he’d increase efficiency in state government.

“I would audit every function in the state of Ohio,” he said. “… I’ll audit everything permitted by law.”

Lesiak said he has worked in various fields such as consulting, auditing, accounting and government, including in the state auditor’s office. In his positions, he said he worked to save time and money by increasing efficiency.

To encourage Kent State students to sign up, Lesiak said he’s offering “A Dozen Rubies” pin to the student who collects the most valid signatures. To collect signatures, he’s distributed petitions on campus, including to the College Democrats. He also has petitioned the Parma City Council president and sent several unsolicited e-mails and faxes.

“Opportunities never come to those who wait, it’s captured by those who dare to go ahead,” Lesiak said.

– Meranda Watling