• 39°

Carey to challenge Shoemaker

Though law prohibits him from serving in Ohio’s House of Representatives after his current term expires, Wellston Republican John Carey feels he still has a place in state politics.

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

Though law prohibits him from serving in Ohio’s House of Representatives after his current term expires, Wellston Republican John Carey feels he still has a place in state politics.

Last week, Carey officially announced he will seek election to the 17th District seat of the Ohio Senate. The seat is currently held by Bournville Democrat Mike Shoemaker, who has said he will seek reelection. Carey’s intentions to run for the seat have been public since the fall.

Being in his fourth term as the state representative of Ohio’s 94th House District, Carey is prohibited from running again for that seat due to term limitations. He says his love for politics and the region he serves, however, has prompted him to attempt to take a step up the political ladder.

"I am seeking to represent the 17th Senate District because I believe in the great potential of our part of Ohio," he said.

As a state senator, Carey said he would continue to hold his open door meetings. During these meetings, he travels to counties in his district to hear concerns from his constituents.

"In talking with hundreds of constituents at over 350 open door meetings, I know that jobs, education and transportation remain as top concerns (in the region)," he said.

Those three issues will also be placed high on his agenda as he runs for state senator, he said.

"We’ve had some success (in jobs, education and transportation)," he said, but added there is always room for improvement. "I want to make sure the 17th District is able to compete in the economy."

In order to do that, Carey said, the rural areas need to have access to the same technology as the urban areas.

"If you’re in Lawrence County and have access to technology, it doesn’t matter if you are in Lawrence County or Los Angeles," he said.

When it comes to attracting jobs, Carey feels the area needs to look at a more diversified pool of employers. Traditionally, he said, jobs in the area have leaned toward manufacturing, but opportunities to attract jobs in other fields – such as technology – are out there and need to be pursued.

Carey said job creation has to be triggered at the local level of government, but added "the state has to give local government the tools to attract industry," whether it is through grants, loans or incentive programs. He credits Lawrence County for taking steps in the right direction, saying the creation of The Point industrial park should help the county woo potential employers to set up shop in the county.

As far as education goes, Carey said lawmakers need to continue to strive to make sure the formula for funding schools does not discriminate between the larger and smaller districts.

"Students have seen a substantial increase in resources dedicated to their education," he said. "In the newly comprised 17th Senate District, the state of Ohio has spent over $620 million on school construction, an unprecedented amount."

On the transportation front, Carey said he has always had a keen interest in moving Southern Ohio highway projects forward, adding he co-sponsored legislation that helped fund the Chesapeake Bypass project.

During his service in the House, he says he has had over a dozen bills signed into law, including a comprehensive rewrite of the Fireworks Safety Regulations, which was done soon after the Scottown fireworks tragedy. Carey’s legislation included such safety measures as requiring guards be on duty at each store and more intense training for fireworks store owners and employees.

Currently, Rep. Carey serves as chairman of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee and is a member of the Rules Committee.

Prior to his election to the House of Representatives, Carey served as mayor of Wellston from 1988-1994 and was a congressional aide to U.S. Rep. Clarence Miller from 1981-1988.