Ohio House District 88 candidates Rex Damschroder and Bill Young spoke at Heidelberg University Tuesday afternoon, to discuss several key issues in the upcoming election.
Damschroder, R-Fremont, who is finishing his first term in the Ohio House of Representatives for District 88, said he offers knowledge of the private sector, in addition to political prowess.
"It makes it just a little bit more difficult, for somebody who has never been an employer," he said. "It's those real world experiences that I can bring to the table, that I offer as state representative."
Young, DGreen Springs, who recently retired after 38 years of teaching in Ohio schools, said the House could benefit from a new face, and he wants to focus on improving public education in the state.
"I thought about teaching year 39, I really did," Young said. "I still have it, I still love the students, and I enjoy what I do. But I think things in Ohio need a new perspective."
Damschroder cited his previous record as a reason why he should be re-elected, and he said that he and his fellow legislators were able to balance the state's budget after facing an $8 billion budget.
He also said that he was able to get a bill passed to ban texting and driving.
"This is a very big issue," Damschroder said. "There's no way you can safely drive a car and take your eyes off the road. However we have a lot of people that are trying it, and it's proving to be very fatal."
He said the bill did get "watered down a little bit at the Senate," but he hopes to make texting while driving a primary offense for all drivers, as opposed to only drivers under 18.
Young's main focus throughout his campaign has been education, and he said that Kasich's impact on education in the state has been "crippling."
Young said 3,000 teachers lost jobs last year in Ohio.
Damschroder rebutted Young's claim, and said that Young's school district has seen increased funding in the past few years.
Young said "there's going to be some superintedants that are going to be shocked to hear that we have not had a reduction in state funding from the state of Ohio to our public schools."
Damschroder said Ohio is number one job leader in job creation in the Midwest, and number four in the nation.
"We've turned Ohio around, we got us moving in the right direction," he said. "If we, as a legislature can make the right environment for businesses."
Young responded by saying that he has seen cities like Fostoria and Tiffin struggle, and said that people want good jobs, "not dollar store jobs."
"I think the citizens of Tiffin are going to be really surprised to find out how good things are going, if they're being asked for the first time since 1987 to approve an income tax increase," Young said.
Heidelberg professor John Bing served as the moderator for the discussion for the program.