Sunday, January 20, 2008

Chris Widener Announces Candidacy for State Senate

Widener files to run for State Senate, 44 year-old father of two wants change
XENIA, OHIO - Citing the need to continue to improve the State's economy and business climate, reduce taxes, and reform public education in Ohio, State Representative Chris Widener filed his petitions to run for Ohio's 10th Senate district.

Widener currently serves Madison and portions of Clark and Greene counties in his fourth term as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives. "To me, the expectations of the people in the 10th District are clear," said Widener. "State lawmakers need to have the guts to tackle the tough issues that will reduce the burden of state government on families and small businesses. We need elected officials that act ethically, work at the job they are elected, and represent the interest of families and the economic drivers of the Miami Valley Region."

"The people of the 10th District want experience and proven leadership in Columbus to cut taxes and government red tape," said Widener. "Some candidates talk about it, but I voted to cut state income taxes by 21 percent, saving Ohioans $1.3 billion this year. I voted to eliminate state income taxes on military pensions, and I voted to cut property taxes on every Ohioan over 65. I've put amendments in numerous budgets to cut government spending and worked to hold state spending overall at its lowest growth levels in 44 years. And, I voted to create a program of prescription drug coverage for 1.3 million Ohio seniors at no cost to the taxpayers," said Widener.

Widener is an architect, and has operated his own architectural practice for 18 years. He says his company, like every other has been through the tough times, and stressed reform is needed with the state bureaucracy in taxation, unemployment, and workers compensation. "These state agencies are driving businesses under, and I plan to work to eliminate burdens placed on small business owners. The forms, legal notices and threats our Ohio companies receive on a regular basis are horrendous. Employers cannot provide a safe, competitive workplace and develop a strong workforce with the state breathing down their neck." said Widener.

"Frankly, I wish more of my colleagues in the legislature owned and operated a small business, had to make a payroll, wanted to provide affordable health insurance to employees and their families, and had to spend hours and hours with government red tape like I've done in my business. If they ran a small business, I know a lot of their ideas that do nothing but add bureaucracy in Columbus would never surface," said Widener.

Widener says he wants to be a part of the solution to relieve the burden on local property taxes by public education. "I know how tough it is to find a solution to this issue. I'm one of only a handful of state lawmakers to write a new formula and try to get support from state and local education interests and lawmakers to change the current system," said Widener. "Now the Governor says he will solve the problem, but the 10th District needs an experienced legislator at the table for those discussions," said Widener.

Continuing on education Widener stated, "This election is about the future not the past, and the future of our State relies on quality, affordable public education." He was recently credited for obtaining funds for an education pilot project that is aimed to link the curriculum and instruction needed to produce a work force for the high-tech jobs already in the Miami Valley. "The goal is for students and parents to see a pathway to jobs coming from the money we spend on public education in Ohio," said Widener.

Widener then summarized his run for senate. "I'm asking the voters of the 10th District for their vote so they can be represented with proven leadership and experience in the legislature on the issues that matter most to them and all of Ohio. As a WATCHDOG OF THE TREASURY award recipient, I will focus on creating jobs, supporting major employers like Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the Ohio National Guard, and reducing the burdens of state government on our families," said Widener.

Widener is currently Chairman of the House Financial Institutions, Real Estate and Securities Committee. Prior to starting his own business he worked at Wright Patterson Air Force Base as a civil service architect and as the installations first, full-time Historic Preservation Officer. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, is married and has two children currently attending public schools.

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