After an unsuccessful bid two years ago, Democrat Bill Young again is seeking to take a seat in the Ohio Statehouse.
Young, of Green Springs, said the theme of his campaign is "From the school house to the Statehouse," building on his background in public education. He said he hopes to take his education experience and build upon it with other former teachers and Ohio Education Association-endorsed candidates to form a voting bloc to focus on education issues.
"Education is obviously a major focus for so many people in our community. With the (Gov. John) Kasich budget slashing such a drastic amount of money, schools are struggling like never before, and I really feel like I could make a difference down there," he said.
Young said he is not in favor of expanding vouchers for for-profit and charter schools and believes local governments should look to consolidate services rather than consolidate school districts.
He said he also hopes to bring back funding cut from local school districts and governments while state legislators balanced an $8 billion budget gap.
"We have a governor whose whole concern was balancing the budget. I have to balance a check book as a single income teacher for 38 years. I couldn't do it by taking away from this, and taking away from that - I had to live within my means. He balances it by taking away from local governments, taking away from local schools, and that's not hard to do when you keep taking away (from other areas)."
Another of his goals is to reexamine how school funds are secured, taking the burden off of individual property taxes.
Young said if elected he wants to "represent the working people," and be a voice for small business.
"I think we just need a voice down there, not someone who is going to be a stooge for this governor, but someone who is going to oppose the policies of the second-most unpopular governor in the country. ... As a freshman legislator I'm going to make my voice known for this community, and fight for this community."
One way he hopes to do that is opposing legislation such as Senate Bill 5, a measure which failed at the polls last November that would have limited collective bargaining for public union members.
Young said he looks forward to bringing his education experience to the state.
"People look at me as a school teacher and they give me a great amount of respect, and I worked hard for that, and I tell people I've been very blessed to get a lot of recognition for my school teaching and I want to bring that same dedication down to Columbus as a full-time representative," he said.