My choice in the governor’s race


By Mike Barhorst - Contributing columnist



As I sit down to begin wordsmithing this guest editorial, the calendar reflects that there are less than 30 days before the November election. Early voting begins this week (Wednesday, Oct. 12). Likely all who are registered to vote have received campaign literature in the mail extolling the virtues of the various candidates.

I’m going to focus on the governor’s race. I may be one of the few people in Shelby County who knows both the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor. In fact, I consider both of them friends.

Friendship aside, my decision about whom to vote in the governor’s race is clear. Gov. Mike DeWine deserves to be re-elected, and here is my rationale.

Let’s begin with the economy. Not only has the DeWine Administration been able to cut taxes on Ohioans by $3.6 billion, but with the help of the General Assembly, has been able to balance the budget each and every year.

In fact, the Ohio Office of Budget and Management has reported that the state’s revenues were $238.2 million, or 3.6%, over estimates during the first quarter of the fiscal year. The personal income tax, Commercial Activity Tax, and auto sales tax all exceeded what was expected during the quarter.

When compared to last year at this time, the state has brought in $136.4 million more than in September 2021. For the year-to-date, the state has brought in nearly $369.9 million more than in the first quarter of FY22.

This is in part due to the job creation efforts of the DeWine Administration. Virtually every week, there is a new announcement heralding new jobs for the State of Ohio. Those announcements included the announcement that SEMCORP Manufacturing USA LLC, would be creating 1,199 full-time positions, generating $73 million in new annual payroll as a result of the company’s new project in Sidney.

SEMCORP manufactures separator film used within lithium-ion batteries. The company’s main focus is within the EV battery market with business also in consumer electronics and energy storage systems.

There have been similar announcements across the state. Perhaps the most attention has been given to the $20 billion Intel Semiconductor development that Gov. DeWine and Lt. Gov. Husted won for the State of Ohio. In addition to national security considerations, Intel will bring more than 20,000 good-paying jobs to the Buckeye State and will create generational opportunities for Ohioans.

To compete with China and succeed in a tech-focused economy, Gov. DeWine is investing substantially in career education, job training, and workforce development. There have been millions of dollars invested in Industry Sector Partnerships, TechCred, High School Credentials, and Short-Term Certificates to provide essential training for Ohioans in an ongoing effort to grow our skilled workforce.

Important to me is Gov. DeWine’s support for law enforcement. Residents will recall that Governor DeWine’s early career included a stint as a county prosecutor. Eventually he served as Ohio’s Attorney General. He knows the sacrifices that the men and women who serve in law enforcement make to protect lives and property. He has invested more than $274 million to help local law enforcement with violent crime reduction and prevention efforts.

The environment is also one of my passions. Gov. DeWine has secured more than 57,500 acres of public lands and waters for future generations to enjoy Ohio’s great outdoors. I was at the table when Gov. DeWine announced the creation of the H2Ohio program. That effort has invested a historic $350 million dollars to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands, including Lake Erie.

Certainly another of my passions is the right to life. Gov. DeWine is arguably the most pro-life governor in Ohio history. He signed the “Heartbeat Bill,” effectively eliminating abortions after six weeks. He also signed the “Born Alive Bill,” which requires abortion providers to provide all life-saving measures possible in the event of a botched abortion and the child is born alive. He also signed the “Unborn Child Dignity Act,” which requires that aborted children either be humanely buried or cremated.

In addition to investing $11.5 million in faith-based pregnancy support programs, Gov. DeWine also signed legislation that requires that abortion clinics be within 25-miles of a local hospital at which the consulting physician has admitting privileges.

Finally, in the eight years he was governor, John Kasich never once officially visited Sidney (he may well have passed through on I-75, but if he did, we never knew about it.) Mike DeWine visited Sidney before he became governor, and has visited on several occasions since. I fully expect that in the next four years, he’ll be back. His familiarity with the community has benefited Sidney in many ways, and will in the future.

There are at least a dozen other reasons I will be voting for Gov. DeWine rather than his opponent, including his support for the 1st and 2nd Amendments, his support of small business, his support for school choice, but in the interest of space, I’ll simply encourage you to vote for the candidate you believe will best help Ohio continue the momentum that the DeWine-Husted team has built over the past four years! In my view, there is no question that is Mike DeWine.

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By Mike Barhorst

Contributing columnist

The writer is a member of the Sidney City Council.

The writer is a member of the Sidney City Council.