The Tribune Chronicle Editorial Board chooses to not endorse in the race for 63rd District state representative.
Incumbent Sean O'Brien, D-Brookfield, takes credit for Gov. John Kasich and other state officials, including directors of the Ohio EPA and Ohio Department of Natural Resources, visiting his district. These are certainly important, especially considering the significance of all three on the oil and natural gas industry.
But even if O'Brien was responsible for the attention state officials paid to his district, missing is any tangible, measurable result. What is tangible and measurable is the result of O'Brien blocking the consolidation of Trumbull County's Eastern and Central district courts. What's measurable is the cost to local governments saddled with unreasonable employee contract costs that O'Brien kept high when he helped defeat Senate Bill 5. Tangible is O'Brien's no vote on JobsOhio, a critical economic development arm for the state.
Republican challenger Pat Paridon of Niles falls short of providing an adequate replacement. Paridon makes hay about Obamacare, but a state rep has little to no impact on that issue. Paridon rails against government spending providing as an example the ridiculous separation agreement that the Trumbull County Children Services Board reached with its embattled former director; that, too, does not fall under the purview of a state rep.
On the more pertinent issues - privatizing the Ohio Turnpike, preserving local Clean Ohio Fund projects, the state's role in local government consolidation, helping Trumbull residents faced with financially devastating EPA septic regulations - Paridon said she's not prepared to address in-depth or take positions.
If he gets a second term, O'Brien should concentrate on important causes he has identified. He should champion the proposed consolidation of Hubbard, Hubbard Township and Brookfield police departments, not use judicial jurisdiction as an obstruction. He should take charge of a Clean Ohio Fund project in his district, not simply complain about the jeopardized funds. He should support an income tax cut for his residents rather than tow the party line of spending surplus funds.
Voting begins Tuesday and concludes Nov. 6. We do not see a good choice in the 63rd District.