People hoping to get information on candidates running for local office and political issues being debated need to look no further than the Seneca County Fair.
Throughout the week, party members, elected officials and candidates are to be at the fairgrounds promoting their party at the Democratic and Republican tents.
Seneca County Democratic Central Committee Chairman Tom Smathers said the party is looking to promote its candidates as well as provide information and resources to fair-goers opposing Senate Bill 5.
"We're pushing our candidates, trying to make them visible and providing campaign literature," Smathers said. "We want to show our presence at events like the fair."
The Democrats' booth is to host a number of candidates throughout the week looking to take on seats on Tiffin City Council.
Smathers added there have been volunteers and workers who have helped make it possible for the party to be represented at the fair.
Board Treasurer Bernard Hohman said he was responsible for storing some of the items on display and also helped with some of the setup.
"It obviously gives some exposure to the party and gives people a chance to speak and voice opinions," Hohman said. "It gives a chance for the workers and the candidates to interact with the constituents."
Janet Booth also was involved with helping to organize the tent this year. She said she has helped work on setting up and working the tent for about 55 years.
"I think it just calls everybody's attention to what we are doing in the community," Booth said. "It does get us in the forefront and I think it interests the young people."
Booth said for many years the tent was taken care of by the Democratic Women, but it has since been taken on by the central committee.
Not too far away is the Republicans' tent, which has kept a consistent spot for many years on the grounds.
Charles Knight, chairman of the Seneca County Republican Central Committee, said the cost associated with setting up a tent at the fair is offset by the benefits of getting citizens in contact with elected officials and candidates.
"It is a service we want to bring together for the citizens," Knight said. "All of the state and local candidates need this kind of exposure."
The fair also is a time when state candidates can make an appearance to people they usually do not see. State Rep. Rex Damschroder, R-Fremont, was at the fair Tuesday.
"It's one of the greatest county fairs in Ohio," Damschroder said. "This is where I hear lots of ideas to take back to Columbus. I don't know how else to get that feedback."
Recently appointed State Sen. Dave Burke, R-Marysville, also is to make an appearance at the fair today.
Knight said the workers at the booth are happy to field questions on issues, including support for Senate Bill 5, the state budget and their stance on a Tiffin City Charter amendment which could potentially change the partisan voting system to an open primary.
Holly Stacy helped organize and set up the tent this year.
"We're encouraging anyone to stop by and learn about the party," she said. "We have information on issues, state office holders and candidates."
Brian Courtney also is to return to the fair, helping make popcorn for people who visit the tent. Courtney said it is his 26th year working in the tent.
"I'm always glad to do it," he said. "It's always fun."
In addition to the Democrats and Republicans, the North Central Ohio Conservatives has a booth. This is the group's third year at the fair.
Jim Green, president of the NCOC board of directors, said volunteers are to pass out pocket-sized copies of the Constitution throughout the week and speak to people about issues facing the nation.
"We're just trying to encourage the public to get educated on state and federal constitution," Green said.
Green added he is happy the fair is hosting to the two major political parties and a non-partisan political group.
"We've got the Democrat Party, the Republican Party and a non-partisan group all within 100 yards," Green said. "That gives people a chance to stop out and get educated."