Four candidates run for 71st district representative


XENIA — Four Republicans are vying to represent District 71 in the Ohio House in the March primary.

Current Rep. Bill Dean is term-limited and his son Levi, along with Tyler Scott, Joshua Day, and Bob Fudge are looking to fill the spot. The district covers the eastern part of Greene County, including Yellow Springs, Clinton County and a portion of Clark County.

Scott is the only candidate of the four without prior political experience, and said he’s running on a platform dedicated to putting “people over politics.”

Scott said he was compelled to run after being disappointed with “how Ohio is being run right now,” and is concerned with increased government spending, along with nepotism and corruption in politics.

Scott outlined three issues he believes are most important to address as a representative: Housing prices increasing, the state income tax, and child trafficking in Ohio.

“On day one I want to ban hedge funds and corporations from owning homes in Ohio,” he said, referring to single-family homes being bought en masse by corporations who can then artificially control and increase rent prices in and around Xenia.

Some other issues Scott said are important to him are increasing access to mental health facilities specifically to combat the homeless population, as well as completely removing the state income tax and putting more emphasis on keeping taxes local.

“I care so much about my community, and we just cant afford another eight years of nothing,” he said, referring to the current representative. “I’m seeing extreme nepotism, and I’m seeing politics being played over people. Over-spending by people who say they’re the less-government party.”

Scott said that he’s prepared for the position and comes with first-hand experience in the Army, as well as a history degree from Wright State University and experience owning and operating his own business.

Day has served on the Xenia School board for the past two years, and said his experience and vision for the community makes him an ideal candidate.

“The reason I’m running is I want to provide good representation for our community,” said Day. “I think from my experience on the school board and interacting with people of the community, I can do the best job of working with the people in Columbus.”

Day said restoring local government funds is a priority in his campaign, and “standing up for what our community believes.”

“Mainly I would actually show up to things and be available to the constituents of the district,” Day said about what he wants to change as representative. Day said that over the last eight years there has been no budget bill or tax dollars coming back into the local community.

“I would change that,” he said.

Some issues Day wants to resolve as representative include upgrading the road maintenance system and strengthening infrastructure. Mental health services are another important issue for Day, especially among the homeless, and “various other community projects,” should be funded.

“My biggest concern is that the community will vote based off of a name recognition,” he said. “Who, much like our current representative, has missed many voting opportunities in Columbus.”

Alongside his political career, Day is also an aerospace engineer and was one of the youngest lead engineers for the F-35 Program. Day said his experience with leading and managing large teams is indicative of his ability to get work done both independently and with a group.

Levi Dean has served on the Xenia City Council for the last six years and believes his work as a business owner and son of a current Ohio representative has equipped him with the knowledge on how state and local governments work.

“I think there’s a lot of things that could be changed to improve things for Ohioans,” said Dean. “Overall limited government. I’m a small-government guy.”

Dean said he wants to remove the state income tax entirely and rework funding for local communities. Dean also said he wants to strengthen the state constitution, making it more difficult to change in the future. Dean specifically pointed to Ohio Issues 1 and 2 that were passed last year with a majority vote, which Dean opposed.

“I think here in Ohio our constitution is dangerously easy to change,” he said. “It just takes a simple 50 percent plus one. We’re getting away from good Republican values, which is what our country and the state was founded on. We’re not a democracy, we’re a republic.”

Dean said he’s also concerned about corruption from outside influence, and that changing amendments to the constitution has become “a money game.”

Dean said he’s also the only candidate to be a blue collar worker through his business, Dean’s Plumbing. He said his experience as a plumber means he understands people and what the district really wants.

Dean said his father’s work in local politics has also helped him become more active in the community, and while he and his father aren’t the same person, Dean said he is thankful for his father’s influence on “standing up for what you believe in,” and the importance of hard work.

“I really enjoyed serving in Xenia,” he said of his work on the city council. “Xenia is my home, and I love the people of Xenia and I’m excited for where the future might take us.”

Fudge is running after a recommendation from Brian Lampton, Ohio representative for the 70th District. Fudge said that Lampton approached him with the idea, and encouraged him to try for the position as they could use his skills on the state-level.

Fudge has served as mayor of Cedarville for eight years, council member for four, and in the United States Air Force for 25. He is also a small business owner in Xenia, has been on the Greene County Children’s Services Board, and as member of the Community Improvement Corporation (CIC).

“I’m by far the most qualified person going for this position,” said Fudge regarding his experience in the area.

The biggest issues Fudge said are important for the community are economic development and representing the community of the district in Columbus, which he said has “been lacking for the last eight years.”

Specifically, Fudge pointed to economic development in each of the three counties included in the 71st district. Fudge said he wants to think regionally across the district and bring each community together to keep from missing any upcoming development opportunities.

“We don’t want to be surprised when a business comes to town, or there’s some change in the economy,” he said. “One of the biggest issues I see is a matching between the skillets we have and what the employers need.”

Fudge wants to focus on workforce development in the district should he be elected, making sure the workforce is being trained in correlation to what employers in the area are looking for.

The winner of the primary will face Democrat Jams H. Duffee, who is running unopposed in the primary.

Contact Ethan Charles at 937-502-4532.

No posts to display