GALLIPOLIS — With May primaries approaching, the Gallia Democratic Party gathered Monday at AMVETS Post 23 in Gallipolis to discuss the party’s future and listen to a variety of candidates vying for positions at all levels of government.
Gallia Democratic Party Chairperson Carole Roush introduced candidates along with past Gallia Commissioner Justin Fallon.
Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Richard Cordray was the first to speak. Cordray has experience as a past Ohio Attorney General, Solicitor General and Treasurer. He served as the director of the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and touted his experience defending consumers from predatory lending practices.
Gubernatorial Candidate Joe Schiavoni has served as a past Ohio Minority Senate Leader. Schiavoni detailed his experiences having worked in blue collar work in the Mahoning Valley and around Youngstown and representing injured workers after becoming an attorney. Schiavoni stressed the importance of investing in broadband access and co-sponsored a bipartisan bill to expand Ohio broadband.
Ohio Auditor Candidate Zack Space served Ohio previously as its 10th congressional District Representative in Congress. He stressed the importance of the auditor’s importance on the redistricting commission to redraw election lines as well as holding organizations such as ECOT (Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow) responsible for utilizing tax money and using it in controversial fashions.
US Representative 6th Congressional District Candidate Shawna Roberts of Belmont County has been a stay-at-home mom of five and maintained a beekeeping business with her truck driving husband. While being part of a small business during the 2009 recession, she identified with struggling and working Americans and stressed the importance of focusing on improving area infrastructure, job opportunities and internet access.
State Senate 17th District Candidate Scott Dailey detailed his working history before becoming self-employed contractor and plumber in Portsmouth and across communities along the Ohio River. He said his family at times had to make use of social safety nets. He stressed the importance of working hard but treating people with dignity when hard times came. He challenged crowd members to encourage others to register to vote or else Democrats would lose the coming election.
Gallia Auditor Candidate Jennifer Sipple was introduced by her daughter to the crowd. Sipple said she had a master’s degree from Franklin University in business administration and had run her own insurance agency as well as sold real estate in the county. Sipple seeks to unseat Gallia Auditor and incumbent Larry Betz.
“I am not a career politician who has lost touch with the people in the room,” said Sipple. “I understand the needs and concerns of everyday citizens because that’s what I am. My work as a sales person and business owner has given me a unique perspective of what small town Americans face daily.”
Sipple said if elected “she would give everything to the position and make sure citizens were heard.”
Gallia County Commissioner Candidate Randy Adkins served as the event’s last speaker. Adkins has served as a Morgan Township Trustee for 19 years and was known as a “steel man” when being introduced by Fallon. Adkins said that as a commissioner he would like to push for broadband expansion through the county and improve the roads in Gallia. Adkins said he was educating himself as to Federal Aviation Administration codes to better understand the ongoing Gallia-Meigs Regional Airport controversy along with sewer reconstruction projects through Gallia. Adkins seeks to unseat Gallia Commissioner and incumbent Harold Montgomery.
“Everybody in this county needs help and everybody who I can I will,” said Adkins. “Anybody has any idea, I’ll listen to them and read up on them.”
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.