Candidates offer their reasons to receive your vote

The staff of Sylvania AdVantage invited candidates to participate in Sylvania AdVantage’s Political Information Pages.
The following are the responses received prior to printing:

Office sought:
Lucas County Commissioner

Name: Pete Gerken

Pete Gerken
Pete Gerken

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Political Affiliation:
Endorsed Democrat

What experiences do you have that qualify you for the office? I was raised by a single mother in the Old West End who taught me a valuable lesson: we all do better, when we all do better. That line has stayed with me in every leadership position I’ve held. First on City Council in 1996, then as a Commissioner starting in 2005. I have taken the lead on economic development efforts in the region and was instrumental in the development of the multi-purpose Huntington Center in downtown Toledo. I’ve also fought for the creation of the Commissioner’s Citizen Levy Review Committee, which has provided a transparent review of tax levies since 2005. Solid waste management, public utilities advocacy, and issues of downtown revitalization have also remained a top priority of mine, and I’m proud of Lucas County’s high level of achievement in those areas.

Why are you running for office? We have a great track record of achievement in Lucas County and that means we have an opportunity to build on that success. I want to keep moving forward and keep the momentum going on key issues that matter to County residents. I am also running for office because I have a passion for this job. I am continually inspired by the Lucas County citizens I meet and the progress so many of them are making in their own lives. And, at the same time, there are a fair share of challenges that citizens face that I can fight for as their Commissioner. There is more work to be done.

What do you want voters to know about you? Your concerns are my concerns. I had a wonderful conversation with a Washington Township resident, Karen Mayfield, the other day. We were talking about a challenge she faced last year in her community. They had been trying to keep an industrial business from locating just across from their neighborhood, near an elementary school and a protected Lake Erie watershed. It was a difficult situation for their community. She and her husband came to my office and we were able to solve the problem by working together. Whether it’s an issue of criminal justice reform or jobs creation or trusting our water supply, your concerns are my concerns.

What are the relevant issues you wish to address? We are hard at work on three issues right now in the County: clean and safe drinking water for everyone in Lucas County, criminal justice reform, and workforce development as a piece of economic development. We are making progress on a regional water authority with the help of Mayor Stough and other leaders in the county. We have been nationally recognized for our excellence and efforts in criminal justice reform as one of 11 communities nationwide to receive a 1.75 million dollar grant from the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur foundation. And, through our Work Ready Lucas County initiative we are actively recruiting, training and assisting local residents in Lucas County to ensure the job growth within the county is matched by a qualified and prepared workforce. In addition to our stellar record in economic development projects like the Huntington Center and Hensville Park, workforce development is important to the Lucas County economy.

Website:
electpetegerken.com
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Office sought:
Judge, Lucas County Court of Common Pleas

Name: Lindsay D. Navarre

Lindsay D. Navarre
Lindsay D. Navarre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Political affiliation:
Endorsed Democrat

Experience/Qualifications:
Professional Employment
I have spent over a decade serving the public as a trial attorney with the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office. I have tried over 50 felony jury trials, drafted and argued countless motions, and appeared numerous times before the Sixth District Court of Appeals. I have litigated many high-profile, complex and serious cases. I was the first prosecutor in Lucas County to achieve a trial conviction on the charge of participating in a criminal gang. I have always taken seriously my oath to seek and uphold justice. I am currently the prosecutorial liaison for the Metro Drug Task Force. Since 2007, I have taught police cadets on constitutional law topics, and I provide legal update seminars for local police departments.

Professional Activities:
Toledo Women’s Bar Association (past president), Toledo Bar Association (bar admissions committee), Ohio Women’s Bar Association, Toledo Area Local Government 2014 Leadership Academy graduate, University of Toledo, College of Law mentor, Ohio Supreme Court Lawyer to Lawyer mentor, Emerging Leaders Council (2011-2012), Ohio State Bar Association 2012 Leadership Academy graduate, Race for the Cure (Team Legally Pink Captain), Law & Leadership Institute, (facilitator and presenter; 2010-2015), Mobile Meals (volunteer and office coordinator)

Why am I running/What should voters know/Relevant issues:

  • I’ve spent 11 years in the Common Pleas Courthouse as a trial lawyer so I know firsthand how important it is that our community has good judges. Judges in the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas need the experience, the temperament and the perspective to make the right decisions in the most serious of cases.
  • Judges need to understand how to give parties to a case the time and attention they deserve while still managing a heavy docket and utilizing taxpayer dollars in an efficient manner.
  • Judges need to respect the rule of law and provide lawyers with predictably and consistency.
  • Judges need to have experience balancing the stress and the pressure of trial work with the everyday tasks of resolving discovery disputes and being prepared for pretrial conference and sentencing hearings.
  • Judges need to be ready to think on their feet, armed with a thorough knowledge of the law, and respond to high-pressure, high-stake scenarios.
  • Being a prosecutor, specifically a litigator, has prepared me to do just those things.
  • A trial court judge needs to understand the pressure and complexity of being a trial lawyer. I have tried over 50 felony jury trials, including many serious and high-profile cases. My opponent has never tried a case. She has never had a client. She’s never had to worry about the pressure of making decisions on the spot or answering for a trial strategy she employed in court. She is woefully unprepared for this position. Who knows better than local lawyers when it comes to judicial candidates?
  • In a recent survey conducted by the Toledo Bar Association, I was recommended by over 90% of my colleagues to be the next common pleas court judge. My opponent was NOT recommended by 41%. In fact, she had the lowest ratings out of all of the judicial candidates in the poll. (toledobar.org/judicial-poll).

Endorsements: I have been endorsed by 28 local labor and safety force unions, including the Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association, Toledo Police Command Officers’ Association, Toledo Firefighters Union, Maumee Valley Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #118, Sheriff John Tharp, Lucas County 911, Lucas County EMS, Lucas County Sheriff Command Officers and the UAW Local 2213 Professional Registered Nurses.

Webpage:
navarreforjudge.com
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Office sought:
House of Representatives District 47

Name: Lauri Cooper

LAURICOOPER
Lauri Cooper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Political affiliation:
Endorsed by the Democratic Party-moderate and fiscally conservative.

Experience/Qualifications:
I am an attorney with over 20 years of experience practicing business and health care law in the private, nonprofit and public sector settings.

Why are you running for the office?
I’m a married mother of two and understand the challenges working families face. I also wish to focus on great public schools and strong communities. I am an independent thinker and not a career politician (first time running).

What do you want voters to know about you?
I am from a small town in Northwest Ohio (West Unity) and put myself through college and law school. I’ve worked since the age of 14 and currently volunteer for nonprofits that support families.

What are the relevant issues you wish to address?
I want to work hard to bring back family-sustaining jobs and new industries to our community and expand job training services. Ensuring great public schools and strong communities will be at the top of my list by working to restore cuts to local government protecting the critical services and infrastructure that make our communities great without raising our taxes.

Website:
cooper4ohio.com

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Office sought:
House of Representatives District 47

Name: Derek Merrin

Derek Merrin
Derek Merrin

 

 

 

 

 

 


Political Affiliation:
Republican

What experiences do you have that qualify you for the office?
My experience in the private sector, government, and education have equipped me to serve as state representative. As the former mayor of Waterville, I had the opportunity to lead a vibrant community. For several years, I served in the state auditor’s office conducting performance audits for financially strapped cities and schools, which enabled me to identify solutions on how the state can help local governments. Furthermore, I worked within the auditor’s office to fight public fraud and corruption. As a licensed Realtor® and real estate investor, I know the economic challenges Ohioans face. By being a small business owner, I know what it takes to create jobs and how to create an environment that spurs economic growth. I am a proud graduate of the University of Toledo and earned a master’s degree in public administration from Bowling Green State University.

Why are you running for the office?
I am motivated to seek office to improve Ohio’s economy. As a legislator, I have a laser-like focus on igniting Ohio’s economic engine. My priority is to create an environment for businesses and individuals to prosper. As a former mayor, I have the experience to strengthen our local communities and will bring a common-sense approach to the Ohio Statehouse.

What do you want voters to know about you?
I’m a strong advocate for the Sylvania community. Having grown up in Northwest Ohio, I am honored to represent Sylvania in the state legislature. While campaigning, I have stood on thousands of doorsteps in Sylvania listening to people’s concerns. Their primary issues are related to jobs, education, and maintaining a strong Sylvania. Every day, I will fight to grow our economy, improve our schools, and support local leaders to secure Sylvania’s future for generations to come.

What are the relevant issues you wish to address?
Our state needs pro-growth reforms to its tax code and regulatory rules to make Ohio an attractive place to create and grow businesses. Ohio should lower taxes, streamline state services, and make targeted investments in our infrastructure. Also, our state should strive to link public education to economic demands and prepare students for a 21st-century economy.

Website:
derekmerrin.com