Caroline Gentry is seeking to be the Democratic Party’s candidate for election to the Ohio House representing the area where I live — Ohio’s newly created House District 41. December 7 is the deadline for candidates to file for the March primary and Mrs. Gentry is the first Democratic candidate, I am aware of, who has expressed interest.
Mrs. Gentry gave an impressive presentation at our South of Dayton Democratic Club meeting this week, saying that the time is ripe for a moderate, well qualified Democrat, such as herself, to win in districts that habitually have voted Republican.
Mrs. Gentry shared statistics showing that 53% of voters in the the new OHD-41 rejected SB5 — the Republican legislation curtailing rights of public employees — with a “No” vote on Issue 2. She said the radical Republican agenda has lost support from many moderate Republicans. In addition to SB5, Gentry cited other legislation that many moderate Republicans do not support, such as HB194, curtailing election rights, and, HB153, eliminating the estate tax effective January 1, 2013.
OHD-41 replaces the old OHD-37, currently represented by Republican Jim Butler — an enthusiastic backer of the most radical of Republican ideas. Mr. Butler, for example, a member of the House Education Committee, voted in that committee to approve HB136, legislation that is now pending for action by the whole Assembly. This bill, if approved, will transfer state money currently paid to public schools to private religious schools, via a generous voucher program. The HB136 law would apply to all schools — those rated as “excellent,” as well as failing schools.
The new OHD-41 includes areas with school districts rated “excellent” — Centerville, Kettering, Oakwood, and Riverside. HB136, if approved, will be very disruptive to these districts and it is legislation that will be vigorously opposed by many citizens in these communities, Republicans as well as Democrats. Mr. Butler will need to defend his vote.
Because of the elimination of the estate tax in HB153, starting in 2013, these prosperous communities will be hit hard with a loss of revenue they long have counted on to maintain their local budgets. Kettering will lose, on average, revenue of about $3.2 million each year, and Oakwood will lose about $2.6 million each year. Officials in these communities, most of whom are Republicans, strongly opposed the elimination of this revenue source, and will soon reveal the consequences of what the loss of revenue caused by HB153 will mean to local services and tax rates. It seems certain, when the impact of this legislation is understood, Mr. Butler’s support of HB153 will lose him votes in these hard hit communities.
Mrs. Gentry says growing up in Yellowsprings, she always considered herself conservative. For example, as a devout Catholic, she holds to a pro-life POV. Only later, by comparison to the radicals who have overtaken the conservative label, did she realize she actually is best described as a moderate. She has an impressive resume. She received a law degree from Yale University and for two years worked for Judge Walter Rice, the highly respected federal judge for the U.S. District Court for this region. She is now a full partner at the law firm Porterwright, lives in Oakwood, is married to an attorney, has two children, age 12 and age 10 and is recognized for her pro bono legal work.
Mrs. Gentry is a very impressive individual. She is 41 years old and projects a calm, assured, and accessible personality. She shows a practical and incisive intelligence and perceptive empathy. I think her good sense and attractive personality will appeal to the voters of OHD-41, particularly women voters.
Mrs. Gentry says she knows the current representative for this district, Jim Butler, and has worked with him. She says she likes him personally, but strongly disagrees with some of the policies he supports.
Mr. Butler has not yet stood for a general election, but was appointed representative for OHD-37 by the Republican Party. The seat became open when the elected representative, Republican Peggy Lehner, was appointed to serve as senator for Ohio’s Senate District 6, taking the place of Jon Husted who was elected Secretary of State for Ohio. Mrs. Lehner, also, will be seeking reelection this year, and, as yet, no Democrat has announced his or her candidacy to represent the Democratic Party to challenge her reelection.
Mr. Butler is an Oakwood attorney. He graduated from the Naval Academy and flew a F-14 Tomcat. This election will be his first, and although the new OHD 41 was designed to be a “safe” Republican district, if the outcome of Issue 2 is any indication, Mr. Butler may find that his identification with and support of the most extreme of the Republican fringe, may not resonate with voters in this traditionally conservative region.
Mrs. Gentry with her calm and sensible intelligence and mainstream POV is a moderate, a reasonable alternative to the madness occurring in Columbus, a person who is representative of the mainstream of voters in south of Dayton. I’m thinking that many Republican voters in OHD-41 will decide to support her. The election for representative for OHD-41 promises to be an interesting and informative contest.
See Related Recent Posts:
- Why Some Libertarians Oppose Ohio’s HB136 — A Big Increase In Tax Funded Vouchers For Private Schools, By Mike Bock, on October 4th, 2011
- Kettering Treasurer Says Local Cost Of Voucher Plan, HB136, Is $2.5+ Million Yearly — 2+ Mills Of New Taxes, By Mike Bock, on September 30th, 2011
- Ohio’s Proposed Voucher Law HB136 — Should Tax Money Be Used To Fund Religious Education?, By Mike Bock, on September 29th, 2011
- The Plague Of Radicalized Legislators — Caused By The Antidemocratic Practices Of Political Parties, By Mike Bock, on August 5th, 2011
- Jim Butler — Rep For Ohio’s 37th District — Explains Why He Voted “Yes” For SB5, By Mike Bock, on July 30th, 2011
- Without Adequate Public Debate — Republican Assembly Rushes To Eliminate Ohio’s Long Standing Estate Tax, By Mike Bock, on June 20th, 2011
- Is It In The Public Good To Restrain The Right Of Public Employees To Collectively Bargain?, By Mike Bock, on June 11th, 2011
- Republican Senator Lehner and Representative Butler Defend Ohio’s SB-5 At Kettering Town Hall Meeting, By Mike Bock, on June 6th, 2011
- Superintendent Urges Citizens To Protest “Unfair” Cut In State Revenue To Kettering Schools, By Mike Bock, on April 27th, 2011