ANNA, Ohio — Aaron Heilers (R-Anna) has officially announced his candidacy for the Ohio House of Representatives’ 84th District, which includes Mercer County and parts of Darke, Shelby and Auglaize counties, and will begin his campaign for the seat ahead of the May 2018 Republican primary election.
Rep. Keith Faber (R-Celina) currently represents the district, having won the seat in 2016 following the decision of former Rep. Jim Buchy to decline a reelection bid. Faber, who prior to becoming representative served as Ohio Senate President, is seeking to run for the state auditor position in 2018, but has not yet made a formal announcement.
“We have been very fortunate to be represented well in the 84th District over the years by Representatives Buchy and Faber,” said Heilers. “But in general, I have grown weary of seeing or reading in the news about another politician doing or saying something that I don’t agree with and doesn’t represent my values. Rather than just complain, I have always been the type of person to step up and try to do better.”
“Having been a lifelong resident of the 84th District, which ranks first in the state in agriculture production, I’m very passionate about the people and prosperity of the communities that encompass this seat,” Heilers explained. “My background in agriculture, strong family values and conservative philosophies make me the candidate best suited for this position.”
Having grown up on a farm in Houston, Ohio, Heilers attended The Ohio State University and graduated with a bachelor’s in agriculture. He then returned to the area and worked for the Miami and Auglaize Soil and Water Conservation Districts for eight years, specializing in drainage and nutrient management. Currently, Heilers serves as the project manager for the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network.
“I have a strong background in agriculture, as I am a farmer and have worked in conservation for 10 years,” Heilers said. “I currently manage the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms project which showcases leading edge conservation practices that will improve water quality around the State of Ohio. This work is prevalent to the issues in the Grand Lake St. Mary’s watershed.”
Throughout his career, Heilers has served in numerous leadership roles both locally and statewide, including member and former president of Shelby County Farm Bureau; Shelby County Agricultural Society (Fair Board); Anna Young Farmers; former co-chair of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals State Advisory Committee; treasurer of the Shelby County Republican Party Central Committee; Shelby County Young Republicans; and Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church’s Parish Council.
“It’s important to me to protect our rural communities, preserve our agricultural heritage and promote the value of work to keep this area of the state thriving, and as State Representative of the 84th District, legislation that would accomplish those things would be my top priority,” said Heilers.
Heilers resides in Anna with his wife, Sarah, who is an agricultural instructor and FFA advisor at Anna High School, and their two children. They are fourth generation owners and operators of Legacy Lane Farm, a grain farm and wine grape vineyard.
“I think I bring something unique to the table to be an effective representative. First, I have two young children. That puts a different perspective on life and the things that are important,” he said. “Second, my knowledge and understanding of agriculture and the issues surrounding the industry are crucial to this area. We are the number-one agricultural producing region in the state and agriculture is part of the fabric of who we are and why we are successful. We have to continue to maintain and grow opportunities in the field so our youth see a future in agriculture.”
“My experience of having served in numerous leadership roles over the last decade has prepared me to be an effective representative… a representative that listens to his constituents, even though we may not agree on every issue,” Heilers added. “We live in a tremendous area. We are blessed with a strong agricultural heritage, a thriving business community, and outstanding people.”