I’m Patricia Lawrence, candidate for Ohio House District 65 (Goshen, Miami, Stonelick, Union, and Wayne Townships.) I’m a wife, mother, former teacher, and deeply concerned citizen. My decision to run is not about ego. I’m running because our community deserves effective leadership.
My opponent John Becker rode the Tea Party train to the statehouse where he has been sitting on a sidetrack for the past six years. He asserts that spending money is bad. He voted against supporting our school resource officers, yet proposes arming our teachers. I want our teachers armed, not with guns but with the resources they need for student success. District 65 is scheduled to receive $130,000 for school resource officer and teacher training. The first House vote for the bill to authorize this money was 92-2. Becker voted no! As a former teacher and school board president, I am acutely aware of the balance our schools face in providing a safe and nurturing environment. I will vote for our students.
Here are the facts. In 2010, Ohio ranked fifth in the nation for education. Today we rank 22nd. The fault of this in large part lies at the door of the state legislators like Becker who have failed our schools and students. It is time to reverse this trend with better school funding, less testing, and innovative career training.
Healthcare is another critical issue, especially Medicaid expansion, which Becker voted against. As a breast cancer survivor, I am grateful for health care coverage I had and the good care I received. Nearly 700,000 Ohio residents (20,000 in our county) depend on Medicaid expansion and that enables them to work, a step-up from out-right poverty. My opponent not only voted against Medicaid expansion, but also proposes to do away with the minimum wage. I will fight for and vote to support the healthcare and economic needs of working families, children, and seniors.
These are proposals that lift people up. I believe hard working people deserve a living wage. I know that what people truly want is the means to care for their families and have a little change in their pockets at the end of the week.
When tribal politics prevail, we do not get the best candidate. A GOP friend told me, “When Democrats don’t run, Republicans are not pushed to put forward their best candidates.” My opponent proposes radical, fringe ideas such as the strange notion of Ohio seceding from the Union (he said the “so-called ‘Civil War’ is the historical precedent”). Regarding due process about a troubling case, Becker’s comment was, “justice was delivered to the dead punk.” Regarding healthcare Becker’s attitude is that hospital ERs should not have to help “non-paying customers.”
I have served on six boards, including two national boards, and served as president of two of those boards. I know how to set meaningful goals and to work in committees with multiple points of view. Accomplishing meaningful work is what I do. My opponent has the reputation in Columbus where not even his own party will touch his outlandish proposals.
Cancer taught me that time is short. I do not take one day for granted and I will not waste time on fringe legislation.
Political stereotypes have driven an enormous wedge in our world and we cannot abide by that any longer. Real leadership is curious, thoughtful, and responsive to the needs of the community. I will deliver.