The candidates agree on the need for gambling, but have different views on what else is needed to help the state.
By IAN HILL
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- Two men are gambling that they can help solve the state's financial woes during the next four years, even though one of them isn't old enough to place a bet in most casinos.
Ken Carano, 58, and David Sisk, 18, both said they think some form of gambling can help produce needed state revenue.
Carano is seeking the Democratic nomination May 7 to be re-elected as state representative from the 59th District. Sisk is challenging him for the nomination.
The state could face a deficit of $750 million during the next two-year fiscal term, which starts July 1.
Carano said the state should legalize gambling machines at racetracks in an effort to produce more revenue. He said he thinks too many Ohio residents are taking their money out of state to gamble.
"That revenue should be ours," Carano said. He added that he thinks the Legislature will move to legalize gambling in November, after the general election.
Sisk, meanwhile, said he feels casino gambling should be legalized to create more revenue.
The legal age to gamble in many casinos is 21.
Sisk adds that the state should dip into its $750 million rainy-day fund to help balance the budget.
He added that he is confident that the state economy will become stronger in the future.
"The economy will heal itself," he said.
Carano said he expects that in the near future, state Democrats will unveil a plan to improve the economy. Without a plan to solve the financial crisis, "it could get worse and worse and worse," he said.
Carano also said that he feels that dipping into the rainy-day fund won't solve the state's long-term economic problems. He added that he's "trying desperately to find money" for the state.
Money for training, image
Some of that money is needed to help train the local labor force to work in the high-tech jobs of the future, Carano said. Money also is needed to improve the Mahoning Valley's image, he said.
Sisk said if he receives the nomination and is elected, he plans on acting "as somewhat of a trustee" to bring the needs of local residents to the attention of the state government.
He added that he doesn't think Carano has done enough to respond to the needs of local residents.
Sisk said that he's never been to the state capitol building and he's never worked on a campaign. He noted, however, that he's been active in the Young Democrats organization at Youngstown State University and that he enjoys watching C-SPAN and "Crossfire," a political commentary show.
Carano stressed that his favorite part of being a representative is helping to address the problems of the local residents and businesses that call his office.
"Most of my time is not spent on legislation," he said. "I answer all my phone calls."