District 89 of the Ohio state House of Representatives is exactly the type of district Democrats need to win back in order to reestablish their legislative foothold in the Buckeye state. Represented by a Democrat as recently as 2014 and a district carried by Barack Obama in 2012, the district moved away from the party in recent years. It was won by a Republican in the 2014 midterms (who was later removed from office for theft) and held in 2016 by current Rep. Steven Arndt. Meanwhile, it swing twenty two points toward Republicans in the presidential race, with Donald Trump carrying it 54-41.
In order to retake the 89th, Democrats need a good candidate with a good message. Fortunately, they have Joe Helle.
Joe is a US Army Veteran who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom and in Afghanistan. He has experience defeating incumbents, running successfully for Oak Harbor Mayor in 2015. He is now running to take his experience and talents to the Ohio House because he sees the need for a change:
I don't believe in running against someone just because they are a member of the opposite party. If those currently in place serve admirably and by the will of the people I see no reason to replace them. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. There are numerous reasons why we need change, and need it now. As when I ran for Mayor, I again see a need for new leadership, as our government has forgotten it's most important resource - US.
Arndt is a reliable vote for the National Rifle Association, receiving a 93% score from the organization in 2017, and he received a perfect negative score based on my legislative ratings for the last legislative cycle. He was a sponsor of the bill that would allow medical professionals carry firearms, and voted for legislation that would allow a concealed carrier to carry in a prohibited area provided they leave when asked. On that measure, Helle has a notably different take:
As for HB 233, plain and simply, if you aren't responsible enough to follow the rules regarding permitted carry, and where you can and cannot carry, then you aren't responsible enough to carry a firearm at all. This legislation seeks to remove any possible consequence with the arbitrary issuance of concealed carry permits. The burden of following and enforcing the law shouldn't be on those responsible for the premises, but rather the person carrying.
This is the kind of leadership Democrats need, and the kind of candidate that can provide it. LEAP Forward is happy to endorse Mr. Helle's campaign, and looks forward to him turning the 89th blue again.
You can follow this race and find information on how to help Mr. Helle's campaign HERE.