DARKE COUNTY — With the upcoming election cycle fast approaching, State Representative Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) sat down with The Daily Advocate to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and her future plans, should she be reelected.
Powell, a Conservative Republican representing all of Miami County and a portion of southern Darke County, was first elected to Ohio’s 80th House District in 2018 and has since gained a considerable amount of political traction in Columbus. Powell was raised on a farm in Darke County and received a business marketing degree from Liberty University before opening her own marketing business. She has served one term (two years) in the Ohio House of Representatives and is currently seeking reelection to a second term. She is being challenged by Democrat Ted Jones on Nov. 3.
During the interview, Powell primarily touched on the COVID-19 pandemic and her future goals. She reaffirmed her commitment to putting the life and liberty of Ohioans first, and stated that she is hopeful for what the future brings.
“Right now, I’m feeling good about reelection,” Powell confirmed. “I’ve heard a lot of positive things from our community about the work that I’ve done putting people’s needs first and fighting for their voice in the legislature. My primary focus, moving forward, is reopening the State of Ohio and removing COVID-19 regulations from our community. The governor’s orders have really strangled a lot of businesses, families, and non-profits in our community and state, and we need to do everything we can to reopen Ohio and keep people safe in the process.”
Powell’s main focus, as it was in her first campaign, is to uphold personal, financial and religious liberties in Ohio. She noted that she believes the COVID-19 pandemic is not as bad as Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine originally predicted, and that the governor has been using his executive authority far too much. As with many legislators, Powell is concerned about this use of executive power moving forward.
“In the House, we need to revise the code that the governor and the director of health are using to give statewide orders and mandates.” said Powell. “We’re over 8 months into the orders and mandates on Ohioans, and that’s a very long time for the executive branch to be making orders and mandates without the legislature’s approval. We believe, as a community and state, that we have the ability to keep Ohioans safe while removing the COVID-19 orders and mandates. Ohioans deserve to live free and they are people who can make wise decisions for themselves and their families.”
While Powell is critical of the executive authority of the governor, she also offered up praise regarding DeWine’s handling of religious gatherings during the pandemic.
“One of the areas that I’m very thankful the governor has not touched is religious freedoms and liberties.” Powell noted. “Allowing churches to operate in the way they choose is crucial to the founding of America, so I’m very appreciative this area has not been touched. That is one area that I will definitely thank the governor for, but we do still agree on many other things.”
When asked about her previous term, Powell stated that she is proud of her record and that she will continue to fight for the communities she represents, as well as all Ohioans.
“In my first term, we passed the Heartbeat Bill.” said Powell. “The bill says that the first time you can hear a heartbeat in the womb, it is a child, and that child deserves every constitutional right that other individuals have. I believe in doing everything we can to protect the unborn and the Heartbeat Bill was a huge step in the right direction for our state. I was a co-sponsor on the bill and I was proud to see it pass and to have worked on it.”
To conclude the interview, Powell was prompted to speak directly to her voters.
“Elections matter — state, local, and federal.” she said. “As you go to the ballot box, do everything you can to be informed. The power is truly in the hands of the people, and I am really proud of how our community has dealt with COVID-19 and I’m proud of the way we have stood up and cared for the most vulnerable among us, and that gives me the ability to fight for them in Columbus because I know we use our freedoms responsibly. It is an honor to fight for them in the legislature everyday, and if elected again I will continue to be their voice.”
For more information about Jena Powell’s reelection campaign and platform, visit her website at www.jenapowell.com. You can also find her on Facebook by searching Jena Powell. She encourages all of her constituents to contact her with any questions or concerns they may have about the upcoming election. Her office can be reached by phone at 614-466-8114.
Nathaniel Kubik covers courts and crime for Darke County Media. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 937-569-0066.