Paul Shoemaker hopes to win a spot as a Seneca County commissioner, but he has made it clear that he is not a politician.
"I have no political background at all," he said. "I don't know if it's a positive spin, but it's me. One thing people are going to get, if I get elected is me. They may not like it always, but that's what they get."
Shoemaker, who owns Shoey's Cool Creations, is running for Dave Sauber's current spot on the board and said he wants to be the voice for the people.
"I think we need to be able to listen to people," he said. "I don't think that happens. I don't have any political ambitions; I'm not a political person. I don't want a political career; to me this is a job."
Shoemaker, who is running as a nonpartisan candidate, also said his experience as a small business owner taught him how to work with a tight budget and how to "live within your own means."
"There's a lot of things I want but I can't get because this is a small business," Shoemaker said about running Cool Creations. "We don't have a lot of money going through this business. There's things I know I wish we could do, but I can't, and I understand that. And the same goes with running the county. But I'm smart enough to
know what I can do."
Shoemaker said one of the biggest things he wants to focus on, if elected, is to buy more locally.
"You have to use local people, that's how we're going to start to bring the county back," he said.
He also said if elected, he would like to have two commissioners meetings a day one in the morning and one in the evening. He said he would do this as a way to increase public attendance at meetings and to get more input.
Shoemaker lost his job as a county maintenance worker last March after filing to run for commissioner. According to Ohio Revised Code 124.57, an officer or classified employee cannot file for partisan elections.
Shoemaker said all three commissioners asked him to withdraw his petition to run for office so he could continue to work for the county. He refused because he feels he can make things better for Seneca County.
If elected, he said he will stop working at his business and give all of his attention to working as commissioner and serving the people of Seneca County.
"A commissioner's job is a full-time job," he said. "It shouldn't be anything about politics. It's a job, and it's one I can do well. That's why I want the chance."