A young Air Force veteran who moved to Springboro last fall is running against a veteran local politician and small businessman in Franklin for the 62nd District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives.
Samuel Ronan, 26, is running against Scott Lipps, 59, for the seat representing Springboro, Franklin, Waynesville and Carlisle, as well as Clearcreek, Hamilton and Salem townships.
Even Ronan, a Democratic candidate in his first run for office, acknowledges he is unlikely to win the race in this Republican stronghold.
“He doesn’t have to do a thing. He could stay home and fingerpaint,” Ronan said during an interview at the Saxbys coffee shop in Springboro. “Even though its an uphill struggle, it’s something I still want to pursue.”
Lipps, the Republican candidate, is the former Franklin mayor and also served as a councilman in Franklin.
He owns Sleep Tite Mattress Factory in Franklin and boasts a list of prominent local Republican supporters including Ron Maag, the incumbent unable to seek reelection due to term limits.
He narrowly survived a hard-fought three-way race in the GOP primary, but said he and Ronan were on good terms.
“I didn’t run against an opponent this time. I am running this time to better understand the district,” Lipps said, seated in the showroom of his business.
Still Lipps had a 40-person volunteer team to help him put up signs, prepare campaign literature, including pieces aimed to get early voters’ attention.
Ronan estimates he has knocked on 15,000 doors and posted signs himself, except one day recently when a volunteer from the local Democratic Party lent a hand.
They do differ on health care, Lipps intent on dismantling Obamacare to take pressure off small business, while Ronan supports a single-payer system.
Lipps, a gun rights advocate, said voters should pick him because “my values fit the district’s values.”
Since the primary, he estimated his campaign has raised and spent about $25,000. House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger came to a recent fund-raiser at the home of Maynard and Stella Hagemeyer, a popular Republican couple.
Ronan said he got political after the government shutdown in 2013 left him and others in the military unsure if they would be getting paychecks.
He estimated contributions at $270, not counting $6,000 of my own income,” much spent advertising on Facebook.
“I want to show people I can be an average Joe and still succeed in politics,” he said. “It’s time for my generation to pick up the reigns of leadership.”