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1st House District will benefit from Bolon's stint with state



Published: Sat, October 21, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



When we endorsed Jim Hoppel for re-election to the Columbiana County Board of Commissioners two years ago, we said local government needed his experience and knowledge.

We still adhere to that belief. The county's past financial crises are only now being overcome, and Hoppel's presence on the board is important.

We say that because the Republican officeholder is on the Nov. 7 general election ballot in the race for the open 1st Ohio House District seat.

The Democratic nominee is Linda S. Bolon, county treasurer since 1999 and for 14 years before that an auditor and audit manager for the Ohio Auditor's Office.

If Bolon weren't so familiar with the inner workings of state government, we would not be so quick to suggest that Hoppel, serving his 10th year as commissioner, should remain in his current position.

Voters in the 1st District are fortunate to have two experienced, dedicated officeholders to choose from to succeed state Rep. Charles Blasdel, a Republican.

Blasdel is challenging Democrat Charlie Wilson for the 6th Congressional District seat being vacated by Ted Strickland. Strickland is the Democratic nominee for governor and has consistently led his Republican opponent, J. Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio's secretary of state, in the polls.

With Blasdel leaving the House of Representatives in Columbus, the question of who would provide a seamless transition is pertinent.

We believe that Bolon, with her working knowledge of government finances and her many years with the state auditor's office will provide the 1st District with a level of representation that would be necessary, given the many challenges confronting the state.

County government

Hoppel, on the other hand, would be far more valuable to Columbiana County government as a commissioner.

That's because crucial decisions still need to be made about government's operating budget and about the future of the sales tax.

Continuity in the governance of Columbiana County is important, and Hoppel's presence on the board of commissioners makes that possible.

With Bolon in Columbus, the needs of the 1st District will be addressed, as will issues related to the well-being of the state, such as a system for funding public education that would pass constitutional muster.

Bolon says she would be a voice of change, and there's no reason to doubt her. Indeed, her dogged pursuit of the theft of county funds in the 1990s -- the so-called Strabala scandal -- while auditor for the state demonstrates her commitment to cleaning up government.

When Blasdel ran for the 1st District seat, he said his Republican connections would benefit the area.

Today, with the fortunes of the Democratic Party certainly improving, having a Democrat representing the district would be a positive thing -- especially if Strickland is elected governor.

The Vindicator endorses Linda Bolon for state representative.




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