In March 6 Primary, Six Democrats Vie For 10th Congressional District Nomination -- See Videos of Each

The 10th congressional district is much more compact than other Ohio distrists. It contains all of Montgomery County and all of Greene County and part of Fayette County.

Six individuals are on the March 6 Democratic Primary ballot seeking to be the Democratic Party’s candidate to represent Ohio’s new 10th Congressional District. The winner of this Democratic Primary will challenge the five term incumbent, Republican Mike Turner.

Shown below are you-tube videos, produced by David Esrati, showing each of the candidates speaking to the Greene County Democratic Party on January 22.  Here are the six candidates, in alphabetical order, with links to their web-sites:

  1. David Esrati – retired from the military, an active blogger in Dayton, runs his own business, has campaigned for other offices and has had many public encounters with Mike Turner.
  2. Olivia Freeman – a very personable and energetic black business woman, retired from the military, speaks with a lot of confidence in her capacity to do the hard work needed to win the 10th district.
  3. Tom McMasters – a retired captain says he is an “Independent.” He is registered as a Republican and in 2010 opposed John Boehner in the Republican Primary for the Republican nomination to represent the 8th District. He received 10% of the primary vote.
  4. Sharen Neuhardt – a successful attorney, she grew up in Dayton and now lives in Greene County. In 2008, after the retirement of long time congressman, Republican Dave Hobson, Neuhardt spent over $800,000 as the Democratic candidate seeking election to the 7th Congressional District. She received 42% of the vote but lost to Steve Austria.
  5. Ryan Steele — a 28 year old is now working as a pizza deliverer. He has a college degree in religious studies and philosophy. Steele says his temperament and his training in philosophy equips him with the analytical and people skills needed to be an excellent congressman.
  6. Mack Van Allen – a retired Centerville High School government teacher with a Master’s degree in economics, Van Allen is centering his campaign on his commitment to provide leadership to solve the country’s fiscal crisis and to make the hard choices needed to bring a prosperous future.

I’m thinking that Esrati, Freeman and Van Allen will each make a good showing, but, because of her capacity to raise money and because of her efforts in the 2008 campaign, I’m predicting that the winner of the nomination will be Sharen Neuhardt.

Here is a schedule of public “Meet the Candidates” meetings that, so far, have been announced:

  • Monday, February 6th, at 7pm; The Montgomery County Democratic Party; 131 South Wilkinson, Dayton OH
  • Tuesday, February 7th, at 7 pm; Fairborn Senior Center; 325 North Third Street; Fairborn, OH 45324
  • Thursday Feb 9th from 7:00 pm – 8:00 Pm; Trotwood United Church of Christ; 18 N Broadway; Trotwood, OH 45426
  • Tuesday, February 14, 5:30 PM; Beavercreek Chamber of Commerce Candidates night; Main Elementary, Auditorium; 2942 Dayton Xenia Rd.
  • Thursday, March 1st, 6:00 pm – 8:00 Pm; The League of Women Voters; Stivers School for the Performing Arts; 1313 East Fifth St. Dayton

David Esrati has pages outlining his thoughts on many issues. He says, “I’m a candidate of substance and ideas – not sound bites.” He says, “I want to be the candidate of the Democratic party to take on Mike Turner in OH-10. I believe my skills, both as a special operations soldier, a small business owner, a blogger and community activist and last but not least, an advertising pro, can make me the best choice to face the incredible money-raising skills of our current corporately owned congressman.”

Olivia Freeman says she is a “workhorse,” not a “show horse,” and that she knows how to defeat Mike Turner.  Freeman has an extensive web-site. She warns, “If we don’t get the right person in congress, we are about ready to go over a cliff.”  She writes, “Kill the wars, tax the rich. This is not rocket science.”

Tom McMasters says he is an Independent but says, “I certainly will caucus with the Democratic party if I should get elected but I won’t feel obligated to vote party line on each and every issue.”   McMasters says that he thinks Republican background will help him get elected, that the 10th district will not elect a person strongly identified with the Democratic Party.

Sharen Neuhardt says she has deep roots in Dayton. Her father was a Dayton policeman and her grandfather was a Dayton fireman.  She attended Fairview High School.  Neuhardt spent $832,329 in her 2008 campaign against Steve Austria and says she is back seeking election to congress in 2012 because, “This is finally a race that Democrats can win.”

Ryan Steele, 28 years old, says that a job with DP&L that often required him to disconnect electricity from those unable to pay their bill made him reconsider his Libertarianism. He says he is now a conservative Democrat and believes that he has the outlook that will appeal to many voters in this district who are looking for an alternative to Turner, but who would never vote for a Liberal.

Mack Van Allen says he is appalled at the current congress’ refusal to “act as adults” and deal realistically with the debt crisis. A headline on his web-site says, “A voice of reason.” He says he believes voters are looking for a representative who will be willing to do the hard work needed to find an acceptable compromise on a “grand bargain” dealing with debt, taxes, and entitlements.

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7 comments to In March 6 Primary, Six Democrats Vie For 10th Congressional District Nomination — See Videos of Each

  • Eric

    Really didn’t know what we were doing in Vietnam

    Will Ohio K-12 students know “what we were doing in Vietnam” by the time they graduate high school?

    Prepare students for tech jobs

    With what curricula? Does anyone really thinks the revised science standards (funded with Race to the Top money) fills the bill?

    Did any of the candidates address government’s responsibility to end human rights violations in public education? Or are all candidates afraid to challenge complacency of the teachers’ unions?

  • Mike Bock

    Hi Eric — you ask good questions, but, in these short presentations, the candidates didn’t speak to any of the issues you raise. I hope to attend Monday’s “Meet the candidates” program at the Montgomery County Democratic Party HQ, so maybe I’ll hear more there.

  • Eric

    the candidates didn’t speak to any of the issues you raise

    Maybe they just don’t believe in role of human rights treaties in the rule of law.

  • Eric

    Q: What are you going to do for education in America?
    McMasters (5:45): Education in America? That would be a good idea…

    Can your candidates get some help from the Ohio Democratic Party? Maybe the party could share what Strickland, Brunner, Fisher, Dann, Rogers, and Cordray did to address education reform. Do the county chairs acknowledge that education policy needs to align across Federal, State, and local policymaking? Do they care whether citizens feel they have a voice in governance of their local schools?

    Last but not least: What steps have they taken across all levels to ensure high quality in public education? Hillary Clinton testified in 1991 about education reform–she even mentioned a guy named “Demming” (sic). Two decades later (eight years as First Lady) any results? Now Secretary Clinton hasn’t connected US human rights obligations to here 1991 testimony–has a single Democrat in the United States even noticed?

  • Eric

    Question for the Democratic Congressional candidates:
    Is Race to the Top faltering in Ohio? Where is the get well plan? Who really believes ARRA/RttT spending will deliver? What are the key components of ed reform that promotes economic revival? Are they supported by RttT? By any funding? What do district boards and business advisory councils need to know so they set priorities appropriately?

  • Mike Bock

    Eric, I am going to do some research on Race To The Top — particularly what is happening in Kettering Schools — and I will post an article when I do.

    Your question, “What are the key components of ed reform that promotes economic revival?”, is thought provoking. It seems to me that in many ways, the public is sold a bill of goods concerning a possible connection of the state of the nation’s economy and the state of the nation’s educational system. Somehow schools are always blamed when there is an economic downturn, but are never praised when the economy is roaring. The state of a nation’s economy is determined by the total system and, it seems to me, the educational achievements of its citizens — as measured by state tests, etc., — have a fairly insignificant impact on the whole. I think there is an argument to be made that the more vigorous our democracy, the stronger our economy. If there could be consensus on that premise, we would define the purpose of education as character development, and emphasize and reward the development of those qualities that most prepare and inspire individuals to be fully functioning citizens in a democracy.

  • Frankly, if anyone thinks Neuhardt has a chance- consider this:
    in 2006, Bill Connor ran in the same district she did, against the incumbent, David Hobson. Connor spent $10K and got 39.6% of the vote. Hobson spent something like $1.8M
    Neuhardt spent $833K 2 years later, same district for an open seat against Steve Austria.
    She only garnered 42% of the vote. That’s 83X more for 3%.
    Choosing her is like choosing Jane Mitakides again. Turner won’t break a sweat.

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