CELINA — The three Republican candidates seeking the 84th District, Ohio House seat being vacated by Keith Faber met for the first time this primary election season at the Celina Moose Lodge Saturday.
The three candidates are Travis Faber, an attorney from Celina who is the nephew of Keith Faber, Susan Manchester from Waynesfield, a former aide of Congressman Jim Jordan, and Aaron Heilers, a farmer from Anna.
The debate was hosted by the Grand Lake Improvement Association, and much of the discussion centered on what the candidates might do to help make the lake cleaner.
“My No. 1 goal would be to make sure that the research that’s going on in this watershed and around the State of Ohio is funded fully and may be expanded because that research, that monitoring effort that’s taking place is the measuring stick on which we can tell if progress is being made,” said Heilers.
“I think we need to listen to the people who are actually working on the projects and doing the job around here. At the end of the day, this is a multi-faceted problem, the issues that the lake is going up against, and it’s going to take a multi-faceted solution. Obviously, we’ve been doing a lot and the farmers in the area have been doing a lot to deal with nutrient runoff. They’ve really stepped up to the plate, but we have others around here, like septic tank issues. ODNR estimates there are 8,000 septic tanks in the watershed and of those 8,000 up to 40 percent of them could be failing,” said Faber.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting stakeholders on all sides of this issue. I’ve found that people’s passion and enthusiasm for preserving this lake and making sure that we can bring it back to what it once was is really encouraging, and I have been just overwhelmed by the amount of support that’s in this community to continue on the path forward. We’ve made a lot of progress in the past seven to eight years, more progress than maybe what was originally anticipated. We have some excellent plans in place. The treatment trains have been extremely effective, developing these littoral wetlands that are going to help filter the junk as it comes in, getting the dredging going more. I think those are all very effective plans and I want to make sure that as your state representative I’m coming alongside of you and bringing funding to this lake so that we can continue to put those plans into place,” said Manchester.
The three candidates also fielded questions about gun control — they all back the 2nd amendment right to have guns — the opioid crisis — all agree that something needs to be done about it — and partisan politics, which they agree needs to be addressed.