GREENVILLE — State Representative Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) was in Greenville Monday, speaking with voters as she campaigns for the Republican nomination for Ohio Secretary of State in the May 8, 2018, primary election.
Thus far, State Senator Frank LaRose (R-Hudson) and State Senator Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) have already declared their candidacy to replace outgoing Secretary of State Josh Mandel, who is running for the U.S. Senate. Pelanda announced her bid in May.
As part of her tour speaking with individuals and organizations in Darke County, Pelanda was at Brethren Retirement Community, a guest of Brethren residents Bill and Barbara Holmes.
“I believe my background as a lawyer, for 36 years now, and my experience as a small business owner for 26 years makes me the best candidate,” she said.
“The Secretary of State’s office is the hotseat for litigation. I think my background as a lawyer allows me to be prospective about litigation and to offer creative solutions for resolution,” she added. “Second, the Secretary of State office is the front door for all new business, the first contact for people who want to incorporate in Ohio. As Secretary of State, I want to be an ambassador for Ohio.”
Voter fraud is another issue Pelanda wishes to tackle if elected.
“I want Ohio to be a leader in voting technology and security,” she said. “I am a strong supporter of photo I.D. I believe for those that don’t have photo I.D., the state should provide one at no cost.”
“Fraud exists. It doesn’t matter whether it’s one or a thousand cases,” she said. “We know right here in this county, Darke County, that elections have been won with one to two votes. If there’s even one case of voter fraud in this county, it could be the difference between who’s sitting in that office and who’s not. With my legal background, I want to work with prosecutors to hold those people accountable who’ve intentionally tried to defraud our system.”
Pelanda said her parents instilled in her from a young age, the importance of voting and the political process.
“As the next Secretary of State, I want to initiate a program for the eighth-grade student body where they can receive class credit for an internship with the local board of elections, to understand how elections work, how voting works,” she said.
Pelanda is a graduate of Marysville High School, Miami University and the University of Akron School of Law. She practiced in her own private practice for nearly 30 years, focusing on criminal and civil litigation and domestic relations law.
She was appointed to the Ohio House of Representatives in 2011, then was reelected three times by voters in Union and Marion Counties. In 2015, she was elected to serve as House Majority Whip. In 2017, she was elevated to the position of House Majority Floor Leader, the number three position in the House.
According to Pelanda’s campaign, her legislative work has earned her endorsements from such organizations as the Ohio Farm Bureau, the American Conservative Union, the National Rifle Association, Ohio Right to Life, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Manufacturers Association, Citizens for Trump, and the National Federation of Independent Business.
She is married to Sam Gerhardstein and has three adult children. Her campaign website is www.PelandaForOhio.com.