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Editorial: Mandel shows more support for the regional economy

Oct. 28, 2012 @ 12:28 AM

It is no secret that Ohio is a crucial swing state in next week's presidential election.

While the presidential campaigns have generally bypassed West Virginia and Kentucky, the candidates or their surrogates are stumping in the Buckeye State almost every day.

But there is another Ohio race that will have an impact on the entire region, and that is the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Josh Mandel, the 35-year-old Ohio State treasurer.

This campaign season, Republicans have tried to link almost every Democratic candidate to the Obama administration's aggressive environmental policies. In many cases, that's unfair, but with Brown the shoe seems to fit.

Brown has not joined coal-state representatives, such as West Virginia's Sen. Joe Manchin, in crossing party lines to moderate the approach of the Environmental Protection Agency, and in debates has asserted that "there is no war on coal."

Mandel, on the other hand, has made supporting coal jobs and affordable energy a central part of his campaign. The former Cleveland city council member and state legislator also lays out a more pro-business approach to getting the Ohio economy moving again.

We think Mandel is more in line with the interests and values of southern Ohio.

Congress: Area Ohio voters also will make an important choice in the 6th District congressional race between Republican incumbent Bill Johnson and the Democrat who held the seat from 2007 to 2011, Charlie Wilson. The district runs from the southern counties in our region -- Scioto County, Lawrence and Gallia -- then along the Ohio River up to the Youngstown area.

Both candidates have supported the coal and gas industries and understand the economic issues facing southern Ohio. But we feel Wilson was more attentive to the needs of our region during his years in office and deserves another term in Washington.

Legislature: Republican Terry Johnson has done a good job in his first term representing the 90th Ohio Legislative District, which includes a western portion of Lawrence County, as well as Scioto and Adams counties. Johnson is a physician and a leader in fighting the prescription drug problem.

Republican Ryan Smith of Gallipolis would be a good choice in District 93, which includes most of Lawrence County, as well as Gallia, Jackson and a portion of Vinton counties. Smith is a financial adviser who was elected in April to fill the remainder of Rep. John Carey's term and has a strong record of community service.

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