The following is an article from the Dayton Daily News that appeared on the website on April 5th 2010.
Editorial: Freshman Martin best for 70th Ohio district
By the Dayton Daily News | Monday, April 5, 2010, 03:55 AM
There are some unusual doings this year in the contest to represent voters in Beavercreek, Fairborn and Xenia in the Ohio House of Representatives in Columbus. Freshman Rep. Jarrod Martin, of the 70th District, is being challenged in the Republican primary by a candidate who shouldn’t be written off.
Xenia City Council member Bill Miller is not drawing any particular philosophical distinction between himself and the incumbent. He grants that they are the same kind of conservative.
He does complain that his opponent has not initiated legislation on the major problems of the day: jobs and the economy. But freshman members of the minority party in the House are not typically the ones who drive major legislation.
Basically what we have here is a challenger who has long wanted to be in the legislature and was disappointed to lose in a crowded primary in 2008. Mr. Miller also didn’t come in second.
Now he hopes that public anger at incumbents — plus a one-on-one contest — might be enough to pull him in, against a first-term representative who, like most first-termers, is not exactly a household name.
All that is fair enough. But voters lack any compelling reason to change horses, to put a new freshman in and start over on the learning curve that all freshmen face.
The two candidates appear to be of roughly equal ability. They had similar political backgrounds before the 2008 primary. Mr. Martin was a member of the Beavercreek City Council.
Rep. Martin wants to allow local school districts to opt out of the requirement for all-day kindergarten, though he was, in an interview with the Dayton Daily News editorial board, fuzzy about how that would work, as on the details of other subjects.
Neither candidate is brimming over with ideas for dealing with the state’s looming budget crisis, though Rep. Martin suggests looking at sentencing rules, a proposal made by other Republicans last year.
Mr. Miller insists that spending is “out of control,” but offers little to support that, in the face of repeated and steep budget cuts. He does say that $1 million in federal stimulus money is slated for signs labeling various projects as stimulus projects, which he opposes.
Mr. Miller has the support of some local elected officials. He specifically touts the support of the mayors of Beavercreek, Fairborn and Xenia.
Rep. Martin cites a good many more endorsements, which is to be expected.
That there is some support for each reflects a certain tribalism in Greene County Republican politics, a matter of little relevance to voters.
The incumbent hasn’t shown signs of playing a major role in Columbus, that he will stand out as a party leader, or as a facilitator of inventive bipartisan solutions, or as a policy expert in some area. But he is only 30 and has time to develop. He has been a diligent and earnest lawmaker.
The challenger also has not demonstrated that he would be an exceptional choice, though, he, too, would presumably be responsible about the work.
The 70th District has legitimate reason for wondering if it is represented as well as it might be. But, in the choice it faces, it would do best to stick with the young incumbent.