In less than a week, voters in the 30th senate district will determine who represents the southeastern Ohio border in Columbus.
It’s incumbent democrat Lou Gentile of Steubenville against republican challenger Shane Thompson of Loomis.
Gentile previously worked in the Office of Appalachia under former Governor Ted Strickland, and tells WMOA News he was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 2010, and then was appointed to his senate seat at the end of 2011.
“I work across the aisle to get things done and I authored the Ohio Workers First Amendment, which puts in place protections for local workers; when the out-of-state oil and gas companies are coming in, we want Ohioans to get those jobs,” says Gentile.
Gentile says we have a unique opportunity coming in oil and gas development.
“It’s going to play a crucial role in a local economic renaissance,” says Gentile. “We want to make sure that it’s done properly and that we take into consideration the health and safety of our families, communities, and workers.” He adds that sustainable, high-wage job creation is important and wants to ensure small, local businesses also get benefitted.
Republican Shane Thompson tells WMOA News that his background is in business, not politics. “In the business world you have to be results-oriented and get things done to be successful – and I think that’s something that in Columbus, the politicians today aren’t very good at that. I think we can do a better job and my background helps with that.”
Thompson says he wants to reduce government intervention that stifles job creation, including regulations and tax policy. “With these we sometimes get good intentions gone awry and I think some of these regulatory agencies have too broad a focus; we’ve got redundancy, so I would look into ways to make those processes more efficient.”