Friday, March 7, 2008

Independent College Candidates for the Statehouse

Since primaries are past, the question on everyone’s mind is: Where did the candidates attend college? Naturally, independent colleges educated a substantial number of our state’s elected leaders, but what of the new officials who may start work in Columbus next year?

AICUO has completed the homework for you. As a time-saving measure, we did not compile a list of every candidate’s background. Incumbents are known quantities, as are people moving from House to Senate or Senate to House.

We also did not review every candidate’s bio. Yes, every House seat and half of the Senate seats are up for election, but we know that Ohio is a well-gerrymandered state. Most candidates from the departing incumbent’s party are likely to win this fall. (Frankly, by only focusing on candidates from incumbent parties, we cut our work down from more than 125 profile searches to about two dozen.) For the upsets where there is a partisan shift, we will let you know in November.

Interestingly, all of the new candidates profiled here are from the House. The reason is that most of the likely same-party turnover in the Senate involves former House members switching chambers.

And so, the candidates with independent education backgrounds are:

District 34. Peter Strautberg is a lawyer with Fifth Third Bank from Cincinnati. He earned his undergraduate degree at Kenyon College before receiving his J.D. from Ohio State. (Current incumbent: Tom Brinkman.)

District 36. Seth Morgan is a member of the Huber Heights city council and a business consultant. He earned his undergraduate degree from Park College (Pa.) and his M.B.A. from the University of Dayton. (Current incumbent: Arlene Setzer.)

District 37. Kettering City Council Member Peggy Lehner earned her baccalaureate degree in history and political science from St. Mary’s of the Woods College (Ind.). (Current incumbent: Speaker Jon Husted.)

District 38. Terry Blair is president of Buckeye Pools, and earned his B.B.A. from Loyola College Chicago, and his M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame (Ind.). (Current incumbent: John White.)

District 50. Todd Snitchler in Stark County earned his bachelor’s degree from Grove City College (Pa.) in history and secondary education/social science before earning his law degree at the University of Akron. (Current incumbent: John Hagan.)

District 70. Jerrod Martin is a healthcare financial consultant and a Beavercreek City Council Member. He graduated with a business administration degree from the College of Mount Saint Joseph and is currently an M.B.A. candidate at the University of Dayton. (Current incumbent: Kevin DeWine.)

District 80. Dennis Murray is a trial lawyer with Murray and Murray of Sandusky. He earned his baccalaureate and juris doctor from Georgetown University (D.C.). (Current incumbent: Chris Redfern.)

District 83. Dave Burke not only graduated from Ohio Northern University, but met his wife there. His degree was in pharmacy. He then earned an M.B.A. from Capital University. Naturally, he runs Dave’s Pharmacy in Marysville. (Current incumbent: Tony Core.)

District 84. Bob Hackett earned a B.A. in economics from Columbia University (N.Y.) and today is a financial manager. (Current incumbent: Chris Widener.)

District 94. Troy Balderson co-owns Balderson Motor Sales in Zanesville. He attended both Muskingum College and Ohio State. (Current incumbent: Jim Aslanides.)

There were a few candidates whose educational background was not readily apparent. If we missed anyone, please accept our apologies.

Good luck to all of them.

— C. Todd Jones