West Chester residents vying for 52nd House seat

WEST CHESTER TWP. ― A pair of West Chester Twp. residents say their visions will help guide Ohio to better prosperity in the Statehouse.

Democrat Chuck Horn and Republican Jennifer Gross are seeking to represent the 52nd Ohio House District in Columbus, which represents residents in West Chester and Liberty townships, and parts of Fairfield Twp. and Sharonville. Today, Ohioans can start casting early votes in the Nov. 3 general election, and boards of elections will mail out requested absentee ballots.

One of the top issues currently facing the state’s General Assembly is the bribery scandal involving former House speaker Larry Householder and the energy bailout law House Bill 6.

Horn would push to repeal the law if that doesn’t happen during the current General Assembly. He would also advocate replacing it with a bill that promotes green energy and creates new jobs within that sector.

“If I go to Columbus, it won’t be replaced with the same law,” he said. And if House Bill 6 is replaced this year with a similar bill, then he said, “It could be changed.”

“We need a new policy that supports green jobs and doesn’t subsidize special interests," he said.

Gross, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, is also against private company bailouts of any kind.

“We need to show we are above board,” she said. “I’m not for bailouts of private companies, and I would like to steer clear of anything that has any look or appearance of impropriety.”

“If they don’t take care of (House Bill 6) by Dec. 31, I think we need to go back to the drawing board," she said.

The state legislature will look to address several issues in the next General Assembly, including health care, especially if the U.S. Supreme Court invalidates the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Horn said women’s health rights and pre-existing conditions need to be protected by the states if the federal health care law goes away. If that happens, he said, "There’s nothing preventing the state of Ohio from setting up their own plan.”

In 2006, Massachusetts passed a health care reform law that provided health insurance to nearly all of the commonwealth’s residents.

Gross said she won’t ever say she supported every decision made by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, but acknowledges he was in a difficult decision and believes he tried to make the best decisions based on available information.

“No one had a crystal ball,” she said. “But I don’t agree that our state constitution, nor did our federal constitution, allow the governor to shut down our elections.”

Gross, who does not support a mask mandate, also said the state cannot be shut down and people cannot stay at home isolating all the time.

“I don’t care where you’re political ball lands,” she said. You cannot have a society where people do not work. There must be some freedom to allow people to work, so I will err on the side of freedom, but there also has to be caution."

The school funding model in Ohio, which aspects have been ruled unconstitutional Ohio Supreme Court four times since 1997, is Horn’s “number one issue” he wants to address. His plan is to have “a more equitable state-based system” where Ohio pays for core skills, like reading, writing and math. Local governments pay for everything else, he said.

“It’s something I believe would work," said Horn.

Gross said some of her top issues include a pro-life agenda and protecting the second amendment, and supports a “stand your ground” bill.

She also supports removing red tape, saying, "We need to make Ohio so irresistible that businesses cannot refuse Ohio.”

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