Republican State Rep. Thomas Patton has been bouncing around Ohio politics since 2003, when he first won a seat in the state House. He moved up to the Senate in 2008, then back to the House in 2016, when he won his seat unopposed after the only Democrat in the race withdrew after the primary. He even briefly considered running for Congressman Jim Renacci's seat before dropping out in November and running for reelection to the House, where he serves as a majority whip and earned a perfect negative score from LEAP Forward for his sponsorship of and support for regressive gun legislation.
In short, Patton is exactly the sort of legislator that progressives and gun safety voters must oppose in order to move states forward, especially when it comes to gun policy. Fortunately, Aziz Ahmad is doing exactly that.
When I first contacted Aziz in mid-February, it was clear that gun reform was going to be a part of his campaign. He was versed in the legislation LEAP Forward had graded in Ohio, and disagreed with how Patton had represented the district on the issue. He supports regulating firearms the same way the state regulates automobiles, and plans to advocate for measures that restrict the ownership of semi-automatic rifles.
As to the broader campaign, The American Bazaar did a recent profile on Aziz and his race, highlighting his additional focus on education and healthcare:
A teacher by profession, he says that the current educational system is broken and needs immediate action to improve. Better education [is] the basis to solving our state and national issues, he says.
Ahmad says that Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders are his role models, and he really appreciates the efforts of Obama in addressing the healthcare issue. The candidate says he also admires the progressive mindset of Sanders, which questions current system and creates ideas that can improve it.