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Ohio Senator Matt Dolan visits Marietta

Photo by Michele Newbanks Ohio Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls, is running for the U.S. Senate and visited Marietta Thursday for a town hall meeting.

Ohio Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls, visited Marietta Thursday evening to speak with local residents about his run for U.S. Senate in the May primary.

Dolan said he was elected to the Ohio House in 2005 and has been state senator for the 24th district since 2017.

He said Thursday he loves public policy and he feels he’s the best person for the job because of his public and private sector experience, especially with the direction the country is going.

“We’ve always been the party of ideas but we’ve haven’t always been the party of executing those ideas,” Dolan said. “What I think I bring to the primary is somebody with private and public sector experience that believes Republican ideas are better…believes that when Republicans are in charge, the state and country are stronger, but if we don’t take our ideas and execute and engage and be willing to get things done, then we lose.”

He said people want someone in office to solve problems. The Republicans had the president, and control of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House and didn’t get a lot done.

“They were all pointing fingers,” he said.

He said people see his conservative record and like what they’re seeing. A distinction between Dolan and the other Republicans running for the open Senate seat is one thing, Dolan said.

He is the only Republican candidate who voted for the infrastructure bill introduced by Sen. Rob Portman. The bill would have expanded broadband across the state.

“I know what I’m fighting for and who I’m fighting for,” he said.

He’s also invested in student wellness and is looking to address the opioid crisis in southeastern Ohio.

Two local superintendents participated in the meeting — Fort Frye School Superintendent Stephanie Starcher and Belpre School Superintendent Jeff Greenley

Starcher said she applauded Dolan’s investment in mental health.

“It’s the single greatest crisis. I tell everyone that … everywhere … that we are seeing kids with needs that we’ve never, ever … I’ve been in 26 years,” Starcher said. “The kids we deal with, typically this year … we don’t have the staff and the resources and one thing that’s needed with that money is to make sure we’re giving incentives for people to go in and get licensures in the mental health field. We have money to pay for them but right now, we can’t find any therapists.”

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

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