MIAMI COUNTY — In the upcoming Nov. 6 election, voters will choose between Republican Stephen Huffman of Tipp City and Democrat Paul Bradley of Dayton to represent the fifth district in Ohio’s State Senate.
Huffman is currently serving his second term in the Ohio House of Representatives, representing the 80th district, which is composed of Miami County and parts of Darke County.
Bradley currently serves as a board member for the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center, the Dayton Human Relations Council, and the City of Dayton Plan Board. He is also the director of Government Relations and Advancement at Antioch University.
Candidates’ statements do not reflect the views of this publication.
The following is Bradley’s response to a candidate’s questionnaire sent out by the Troy Daily News. Each candidate was recently given a chance to update their questionnaires, which had been previously published.
Paul Bradley, Democratic candidate
Occupation: Director of Advancement and Government Relations
Position Sought: Ohio State Senate, District 5
Previous Political Experience: 2009-2016 Southwest Ohio Regional Representative for Sen. Sherrod Brown, President of the Montgomery County Young Democrats and currently a member of the Montgomery County Democratic Party’s Executive Committee.
Qualifications: B.A. in Political Science from the University of Dayton, Member of Dayton Rotary and the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Current Director of Advancement and Government Relations for Antioch University, and Board-member: Miami Valley Fair Housing Center, Dayton Plan Board, and Dayton Human Relations Council.
Reason for Seeking Office: I believe we can provide common-sense solutions to some of Ohio’s biggest challenges. Whether it’s addressing the lack of funding for our children’s education, making sure jobs come to and stay in Ohio, ensuring our working families have a voice in their workplace, or providing real solutions to the opioid epidemic that is ravaging our communities, I believe that the best answers can be found when elected leaders listen to their constituents and seek to solve problems together.
Goals for office if elected: Just like every other state, Ohio is facing many challenges. I believe government should be focused on improving educational opportunities for every child and building an economy that provides good paying jobs in every community. I believe public education is the best way to level the playing field for every child and provides an opportunity to create pathways out of poverty.
Right now, we have legislators in Columbus who have allowed for-profit schools like ECOT to steal millions of dollars from taxpayers while also stealing education funding from children. We need to clean up this culture of pay-to-play politics while also fighting for a constitutional public school funding formula. When it comes to creating a strong economy, I believe the state needs to be a better partner with local communities on everything from workforce development, skills gap training programs, and very importantly – combating the opioid crisis that is ravaging many parts of Ohio.
What do you see as the greatest need to be addressed in the position you seek:
The top challenge facing Ohio at this time are jobs. We must be innovative and create good-paying jobs in our communities that will strengthen the middle class. Too many Ohioans are working multiple jobs just to get by. We must make sure anyone who wants to work can find a job they can support a family on.
Stephen Huffman, Republican candidate
Huffman was unavailable for response to the candidate’s questionnaire, but said at Meet the Candidates, held Oct. 17, at Troy Junior High School, he plans to vote “No” on Issue 1.
“My brother and sister are judges,” Huffman explained. “They need to do judicial discretion to make decisions … it’s the last thing a judge wants to do is put someone in jail, but if you don’t have that power to do it, they’re just going to stick their nose up at the judge and continue to do what they do.”
Huffman gave an example in which a person in possession of 19 grams of fentanyl — which could be fatal to thousands of people — would unlikely be incarcerated as a drug dealer. “To me if you can kill 10,000 people, you are a drug dealer and so that’s the reason I’m going to vote no on Issue 1.”
In a column published Wednesday, Sept. 19, Huffman emphasized the importance of payday lending reform for Ohio workers.
“In the legislature, we have been working tirelessly for years on an issue that has affected many of Ohio’s families: the predatory practices of the payday lending industry,” Huffman stated. “Payday loans are a type of short-term borrowing with high levels of interest based on income and credit. Approximately one million Ohioans have utilized payday loans, experiencing exorbitantly high interest rates and fees that often cause them to take out more loans to pay off old ones.
Huffman stated that House Bill 123 “aims to end these practices while still maintaining access to credit for many hardworking consumers.”
“Essentially, the legislation modifies Ohio’s short-term loan law to clarify the types of loans a licensee can make, the loan cost, eligibility of a borrower, internet lending, and more,” Huffman stated. “House Bill 123 is a technical bill that makes numerous reforms to the payday lending industry. It’s been the result of collaboration between the House and Senate, industry leaders, and consumers, and the final product balances the needs of the industry with consumer protections.
“Through these provisions, I am hopeful that Ohioans will no longer be subject to these predatory methods and will have the opportunity to reasonably pay off their short-term loans.”
For more information on these candidates, visit www.paulbradleyforsenate.com and www.stevehuffmanforohio.com.