Finishing up his first term in the state House of Representatives, Rex Damschroder of Fremont said he hopes to continue representing the district and providing a strong conservative voice in the legislature.
"I was watching the state government running up an $8 billion deficit," he said. "They had drained the rainy day fund down to 87 cents. ... The challenges were big, but I'm willing to make the cuts necessary to make government work the way it ought to work."
Having represented the 81st district from 1995-2002, Damschroder said his return to Columbus has been a welcome one, with his experience allowing him to take the chairmanship of the Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
"I can compare it because I was in the legislature before, and as a freshman I was able to accomplish more than I ever could have dreamed of as a freshman 10 years ago," Damschroder said.
Damschroder said one of his biggest achievements was helping to balance the budget and restore about $500 million to the rainy day fund. He said it was difficult,
but it gave governments a chance to "get rid of the dead wood" and inefficient programs.
"Constitutionally, we have to have a balanced budget, and certainly there were good programs that took a hit, but certainly everybody shared in the pain. However, occasionally it's good for people to go back and do audits and find out what programs that are less effective need to be cut. We have limited resources, we have to look at the resources we have."
Another achievement Damschroder had was sponsoring House Bill 99, which makes texting while driving a secondary offense for adults and bans all electronic devices for drivers younger than 18. The measure was passed by an overwhelming majority.
"I think this is one of the biggest pieces of legislation that was passed in the state of Ohio this year that affects everyone," he said.
Damschroder said he started working on the legislation as soon as he entered the legislature, and was aided by students from Vanguard-Sentinel trying to start similar legislation in Fremont.
He said he hopes to revisit the bill to make texting while driving a primary offense for adults.
"Texting while driving - there is no safe way to take your eyes off the road and drive a car, whether you're 16 or 60."
Damschroder said he hopes that, if elected to another term, he can continue to work on legislation that will make Ohio more business friendly, building on the "major changes" and "tough,bold initiatives" put in place by Gov. John Kasich which he said are now paying off.