In the race to represent the new Ohio House 95th District, we give the edge to incumbent and Marietta resident Andy Thompson.
Thompson currently represents the 93rd House District and is a past Marietta city councilman. He continues to help run the family business, Birdwatcher's Digest, and is an active member of the Marietta community.
We think having one of our own in Columbus goes a long way toward keeping Marietta on the map, and Washington County voters should return Thompson to the Ohio House. But we would ask Thompson that in doing so, he take more of a leadership role in bringing about meaningful change in the state's school funding system. Thompson has taken some positions that are unpopular with some of his constituents in Washington County. He supported SB5, which would have limited the bargaining abilities of 350,000 unionized public workers and was later defeated by voters.
He has also said in the past that he thinks state funding should follow a student to the school of their choice, even a charter school. There are legitimate concerns that both of these positions can have a negative impact on public schools. We would like to see a recommitment by Thompson to work across the aisle to find a real solution to the school funding problem in Ohio, one that would be most beneficial to the schools of Washington County.
Unlike his opponent, Charlie Daniels of Belmont County, Thompson already has impressive connections around the state. He can use those connections to help achieve a school funding formula, or plan, that will truly raise the quality of education in southeast Ohio.
Daniels spoke of how the state has put too much of the burden on local entities such as schools. And we would agree that a more equitable funding plan statewide would help alleviate the need for higher local taxes. And last but not least, Thompson is all about making Ohio more business-friendly and strong schools can do nothing but help that goal.
We urge local voters to vote for Andy Thompson on Election Day, and we urge Thompson to help lead the state to a more equitable way of funding its public schools.