Job creation: What would Ohio governor candidates do?

Lauren Poellnitz, a process engineer at Silfex, works inside the company's facility in Springfield that is on Titus Road. That location now boast a workforce of over 500 people, surpassing original growth expectations. Mark Schmitter, Contributed.

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Lauren Poellnitz, a process engineer at Silfex, works inside the company's facility in Springfield that is on Titus Road. That location now boast a workforce of over 500 people, surpassing original growth expectations. Mark Schmitter, Contributed.

The Dayton Daily News asked the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor on the May 3 primary ballot where they stand on five major issues, including job creation.

The Republican candidates are incumbent Gov. Mike DeWine, Joe Blystone, Ron Hood and Jim Renacci. The Democratic candidates are John Cranley and Nan Whaley.

Look for their answers on a different issue every day through Friday, followed on Sunday by profiles of Republican candidates. Profiles of the Democratic candidates were published April 10.

Below are their responses, edited for length and clarity.

Question: What state policies would best lead to creation and retention of well-paying jobs?

Nan Whaley: “Ohio’s economy and its workers are second to none, but we need a governor who will actually invest in us. We need to make sure economic prosperity and opportunity are available to everyone across our state, no matter where in the state you live — where one good job is enough to provide for you and your family. Our solution for everything can’t be, ‘Well, you can move to Columbus.’

“That’s why my jobs plan calls for investing in Ohio’s businesses, especially its small businesses; investing in 21st century jobs and making sure the technology of the future — including renewable energy jobs and focusing on reshoring — is built right here in Ohio; and investing in Ohio’s workers by raising wages for all Ohioans. You can see my full plan at www.nanwhaley.com/jobs.”

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Jim Renacci: “As was recently reported by the Ohio Press Network, under Mike DeWine, Ohio has the ninth highest tax rate in the entire country, and according to the Tax Foundation, we’re in the 10 worst states in America when it comes to business tax climate. (Editor’s note: the Tax Foundation ranks Ohio 14th in overall business tax climate for 2022.) The average Ohio household will pay $8,000 in state and local taxes this year — far more than in most other Republican-led states and only slightly less than deep blue states like Illinois. The fact is, under Mike DeWine, Ohio looks a lot more like California or New York than like Texas or Florida.

“Our high taxes and regulatory regime are one of the reasons Ohio ranks 33rd in job creation and seventh highest when it comes to the number of people who leave our state each year. If we want to create and retain good paying jobs in this state, we need policies that encourage people and businesses to come to Ohio, not leave Ohio. Right now we’re doing it backwards. As governor, I will reform our tax code to reduce rates and incentivize new businesses to come to Ohio, and stay here. Government doesn’t create private sector jobs, but it creates environments that either foster the creation and retention of well-paying jobs, or environments that drive them away. Our current high-tax and regulatory policies are driving people and well-paying jobs out. As governor I will reverse those policies, clean up the tax code, and make Ohio one of the most attractive places for businesses to launch, grow and thrive in the United States.”

Ron Hood: Hood’s campaign has not responded to requests for comment. The following comes from his campaign website:

“Thanks to the policies of the Biden administration, there are millions of job openings and only a fraction are being filled. Now, we have a great opportunity to bring Ohio back through the lengthy experience of Ron Hood and his serving on Ohio House committees that fostered job growth and restructuring.

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“Ron Hood has been working on job prosperity for many years. While watching our neighboring states choose a business friendly atmosphere, Ohio clamped down on licensing, more regulations of corporations, and Ohio’s failure to invest in small businesses, the backbone of our great state.

“Ron Hood will change that. Ohio will become competitive in the national job market if the focus is put on revamping the tax code, limiting licensing, and encouraging manufacturing through incentives, like surrounding states have done.”

Mike DeWine: “Ohio is becoming a model for states across the country. Businesses and families are packing up and moving to Ohio. We’re creating a record number of jobs and winning historic investments, all while balancing the budget. We cut taxes by more than $3.6 billion – creating Ohio’s lowest taxes in more than 40 years, leaving more money for businesses to reinvest in our economy and more money in the pockets of our fellow Ohioans.

“We must continue to foster a business friendly environment by cutting undue regulations and incentivizing innovation. We must keep taxes low and predictable. We are investing substantially in career education, job training and workforce development to help give every Ohioan an opportunity to get a satisfying and well-paying job.

“We are working to close the digital divide in Ohio. Our goal is that every Ohioan will have reliable access to the internet. Ensuring access to high-speed internet will create opportunity for generations of Ohioans in our modern, tech-focused economy.”

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John Cranley: “(After) three decades under corrupt one-party rule, the average Ohioan now only makes 86 cents on the dollar compared to the average American. As Cincinnati mayor, I helped lead job growth and wage gains that are far faster than Ohio. My city grew twice as fast as Ohio, and poverty was reduced 1.5 times faster than Ohio. We need to replace Mike DeWine’s failed policies with my successful policies.

“Small business formation and job growth flow from advanced research and development in our universities and our hospitals. We will make sure that every state university and major hospital is the best in key areas to attract the best minds, and we will fully fund K-12 education to give our kids the best chance to succeed.

“We will rebuild the middle class by guaranteeing 30,000 jobs each year that pay $60,000 per year that will build the needed infrastructure. In four years, we will have high-speed broadband, Wi-Fi and cell phone coverage everywhere. We will invest in advanced manufacturing, rebuild roads and bridges and foster clean-energy jobs.

“Ohio’s job growth has lagged the nation’s. Cincinnati’s job growth has outpaced Ohio’s. We need change, and I am the leader who can deliver it.”

ExploreWhaley, Cranley take different roads to governor’s race

Joe Blystone: “Ohio has a rich history in manufacturing and innovation. I believe having a strong production capability within the state is key to securing Ohio’s prosperity and security. Our state boasts a tremendous portfolio of manufacturing assets from world-renowned research and development institutions to global industrial powerhouses. Ohio not only competes for facility development and corporate headquarters nationally against other states, but internationally as well as the barriers to exit (the U.S. market) have been lowered under Clinton, Obama and now Joe Biden. The Blystone Plan for Ohio will ensure we offer the best business environment in the country in terms of resource availability, policies supporting responsible growth, and a trained and educated workforce to fill the jobs these businesses create.

“Providing the best location for building a new plant isn’t just about offering the (largest) tax breaks. No municipality, regardless of size, wins in this race to the bottom. The way we win manufacturing jobs is to offer the entire ecosystem that manufacturing needs to seed and bloom. Access to capital, trained and motivated people, and robust distribution networks, when combined, position Ohio remarkably well to attract and retain these businesses, (better) than just buying them off with your tax dollars. Incentives are important for growth, but they are not the only, and certainly not the most important, factor in those decisions. Our plans will ensure industry and academia are aligned to train Ohioans in the next generation of jobs, some which haven’t even been defined yet.”


Complete coverage

The Dayton Daily News asked all the gubernatorial candidates about where they stood on five major issues. Here’s the schedule:

Monday: Guns

Tuesday: Abortion

Wednesday: COVID-19 response

Today: Creating and retaining well-paying jobs

Friday: Long-term economic growth in Ohio

The Democratic nominees for U.S. Senate and Ohio governor in the May 3 primary were profiled on April 10. Next Sunday, April 17, we’ll profile the Republican candidates in those races.

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