From The Vaults

Caroline Gentry And Jim Butler — OHD 41 — Will Have Lincoln-Douglas Type Debate At KHS On Friday, Nov 2

This is great news: Caroline Gentry and Jim Butler — candidates seeking election to represent District 41 in the Ohio House — will participate in a Lincoln Douglas style debate on Friday, November 2. The debate will be at Kettering High School on Shroyer Rd. in the Recital Hall starting at 3:45 PM.

Republican Jim Butler is the incumbent, appointed to the position last January. This is his first election. Caroline Gentry is the Democratic challenger. And this is her first election.

The program will last for one hour and the public is invited to attend.

In the 34 minute debate portion of the program, both candidates will speak four times for total of 17 minutes:

  • 7 minutes      First Speaker
  • 7 minutes      Second Speaker
  • 5 minutes      First Speaker
  • 5 minutes      Second Speaker
  • 3 minutes      First Speaker
  • 3 minutes      Second Speaker
  • 2 minutes      First Speaker
  • 2 minutes      Second Speaker

A coin toss will determine who is the first speaker.

For the remainder of the hour program, candidates will respond to questions from the audience, taking turns as to who will answer first, and with each response limited to two minutes.

I am delighted that here at the last minute, this could come together. Last February I asked Mr. Butler if he might agree to such an exchange and he said, “Sure.” From, Republican Jim Butler, OHD-41, Likes Idea Of “Lincoln Douglas” Debates With Democratic Challenger:

This may be a great year for citizens in OHD-41. Two excellent, articulate candidates, both thoughtful individuals with impressive credentials, both, I believe, well meaning and seeking to do what is best for Ohio, may actually conduct a campaign that will elevate our political discourse and cause thoughtful participation by voters. It would be a great compliment to the citizens of OHD-41 if “Lincoln Douglas” type debates between Gentry and Butler would actually happen.

And, so I’m happy this is actually happening — and between two highly qualified and very articulate candidates. It should be an interesting afternoon and I hope a lot of the public will attend. Kettering HS Principal Von Handorf showed me the Recital Hall — what a great facility — it will hold 200 people.

The original Lincoln-Douglas debates lasted three hours: The first speaker spoke for 60 minutes, the second speaker than spoke for 90 minutes, and then, the first speaker than spoke for 30 minutes. In the Lincoln-Douglas format, there is no moderator asking questions, but instead, the candidates have full discretion in the use of their time. This is a format that I wish could be used more often and hopefully this debate will be such a success that in future elections this format will be requested by the public.

Terry Morris of the Dayton Daily News recently wrote an article about the Butler / Gentry contest:

Both candidates who want to represent Ohio’s new 41st House District are young Oakwood attorneys who attend St. Albert the Great Church in Kettering and have never been elected to office.

That’s where the similarities end between Republican freshman incumbent Jim Butler and his Democratic challenger Caroline Gentry.

Butler says innovation and common sense — not higher taxes — are the way to continue the state’s economic revival. “Making Ohio the best and most competitive state in the country, which we can do, will make people want to move here. Companies will add jobs. Workers will get raises. That will provide more money for government services,” he said.

He’s been endorsed by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Manufacturers Association PAC, National Federation of Independent Businesses, Buckeye Firearms Association, Ohio Right to Life, Ohio Society of CPAs, Ohio Veterans United, Ohio State Medical Association and Ohio Farm Bureau.

Gentry said government services are in danger right now due to funding cuts to schools and local governments. “We need to invest in safer neighborhoods and excellent schools. That’s what will promote businesses and attract talented people to move here.”

Her endorsements include: Teamsters Local 957, Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters, Ohio Federation of Teachers, IUE-CWA, Dayton Miami Valley AFL-CIO and Ohio Association of Public Employees.


Ohio House of Representatives:

  • 41st District: Centerville, Dayton (wards 9 and 20), Kettering, Oakwood and several precincts of Riverside
  • Term of Office:  Two years
  • Annual salary:  $60,584

Jim Butler

  • Age:  39

    Jim Butler

  • Residence:  Oakwood
  • Education:  Bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy; masters from the University of Maryland; law degree from the University of Cincinnati
  • Employment:  State representative; Attorney at Thompson Hine
  • Political Party:  Republican
  • Political history:  Appointed 37th District representative, 2011
  • Website:

Caroline Gentry

  • Age:  42
  • Residence:  Oakwood
  • Education:  Bachelor’s degree, Kalamazoo College; law degree from Yale University

    Caroline Gentry

  • Employment:  Partner, Porter, Wright, Morris and Arthur
  • Political party:  Democratic
  • Political history:  Never held elected office
  • Website:



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