COLUMBUS — Throughout the month of September, Spectrum News will highlight some key races in both the state's House and Senate.
What You Need To Know
- Democratic Rep. John Patterson has run out of terms he can serve
- Democrat Richard Dana is an attorney and Kent State adjunct instructor. He also sits on the Geneva Schools Board of Education
- Republican Sarah Fowler, his opponent has served on the State Board of Education since 2013. She is also a small business owner, a farmer and an entrepreneur
- Rep. Patterson only won back the seat in 2018 with 53 percent of the vote and President Trump demolished Hillary Clinton in both Ashtabula and Geauga counties
On Friday, we are previewing the 99th House District in northeast Ohio which includes portions of Ashtabula and Geauga counties. There is an open seat that two candidates with a background in education are gunning for. One is a state leader. The other implements the decision handed down to them.
Democratic Rep. John Patterson has run out of terms he can serve so it is time for someone else to take the reins of the 99th House District. Richard Dana is the Democrat who hopes to take the seat while Republicans believe Sarah Fowler can take control.
Dana is an attorney and Kent State adjunct instructor. He also sits on the Geneva Schools Board of Education. It is something he believes sets him apart from his opponent.
“Big difference between me and my opponent is my opponent is currently our state school board representative that meets down in Columbus. I’m on the frontlines that are dealing with decisions that they make,” Dana said.
Fowler has served on the State Board of Education since 2013. She is also a small business owner, a farmer and an entrepreneur. That is why her two most important issues are the economy and education.
"We have both an education need and a need for career technical education, more job skills training for a lot of businesses that need more skilled employees," said Fowler.
Dana is concerned about how public education is funded.
“The opportunities that were given to me when I attended school, I am fearful that our next generation, our current generation are not going to have those same opportunities,” said Dana.
Meanwhile, Fowler's focus is on career-readiness and matching workforce demands.
"I really want to create an environment that allows businesses to grow and encourages new businesses to want to start up and bring jobs back to northeast Ohio," Fowler explains.
Dana has similar views on the economy. Both candidates agree sending kids back into schools should be a local decision. However, it is Dana who is more outspoken on the issue of racial injustice.
“Is there systemic racism that exists in this country? Absolutely,” Dana emphasized.
"When we look at history, we see that we have learned from past mistakes. I'm really thankful that we live in the freest country in the world and we do have the ideal, even when we there are isolated cases of problems that we have the best justice system," believes Fowler.
Rep. Patterson only won back the seat in 2018 with 53 percent of the vote and President Trump demolished Hillary Clinton in both Ashtabula and Geauga counties. If history is any guide, this could be a Republican flip that Sarah Fowler lands.