Incumbent facing high school student for 85th District Statehouse seat

Incumbent facing high school student for 85th District Statehouse seat

Next month voters in Champaign, Logan and Shelby counties will have to choose whether to re-elect an incumbent Republican or a newcomer Democrat to the Ohio House’s 85th district seat.

Incumbent Nino Vitale, R-rural Urbana, is squaring off against Democrat Garrett Baldwin on the Nov. 6 ballot. Vitale responded to questions for the Springfield News-Sun’s voter guide while Baldwin did not respond by the guide’s deadline and could not be reached to comment on the race.

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Vitale has a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and a master’s of business administration from Franklin University. He and his wife Lilli Vitale have five children.

The two biggest issues facing Ohioans are “overregulation” and the “destruction of the family, Vitale said.

Vitale called on the state to make it less expensive for businesses to be located in Ohio and in terms of helping families he said the state should “do all it can to help mom and dad struggle through the hard times and flourish in the good times for the sake of the children.”

When asked what needs to be done to tackle the opioid epidemic, Vitale said the state and federal government needs to be less lenient.

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“Get control of the border, build the wall and severely punish any drug pusher,” Vitale said. “If you are a drug user, I would give less chances.”

On his campaign website, Baldwin — who is a local high school senior — cites socio-economic change, the opioid epidemic and funding for education as some of the top issues he would tackle if elected.

He said the state needs to do more to combat the opioid epidemic. He recommended the possibility of implementing a state-run rehabilitation program.

“Our state has failed to declare it an emergency and provide adequate solutions…This is discouraging,” Baldwin said on his website.