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Deel: Education key concern in 87th House District

Fred Deel says education is one of his primary concerns as he seeks election to the Ohio House of Representatives.

"My friends have said that I would have no trouble getting votes because the youth I worked with are adults now," the candidate for the 87th District said during a forum at Ohio University Southern. "But, they're not here. They've had to leave to get jobs."

Deel, the extension agent for Gallia County, said students in southeastern Ohio need adequate facilities and excellent classroom instruction, and educators need to be presented with the opportunity for professional development. However, local school districts should not be expected to fund those efforts through increased property taxes, he said.

"Property taxes being used to fund our public schools is not fair," he said. "It's taken 10 years for things to change."

A sound education system is also needed to attract business and industry to the area, Deel said. Also, rural areas need to have better roads and infrastructure for business to locate there, he said.

Senior citizens and prescription drugs are also a top priority for Deel.

He stated that efforts such as the Ohio Prescription Drug Fair Pricing Act, which has been introduced in the state senate and state house of representatives need to be pursued. If this were passed, the state would negotiate prescription drug prices with manufacturers and suppliers.

Deel said one of his greatest strengths is helping people work together.

"Through my experiences as a Gallia County extension agent, I have helped people work together to come to a consensus," he said. "When there are problems, I know how to develop solutions to solve them."

Even though the 87th District covers only half of Lawrence County, Deel said he wants to serve the entire county regardless.

"I want to be a voice to help the entire county," he said. "Todd Book and I have both said we will work together if we are elected. If (Harold] Sayre is elected, I am willing to work with him as well. There are many different objectives to work on, regardless of party lines."