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Walton to run for 89th district state representative

IRONTON — Wheelersburg resident and Porter Township trustee Bob Walton, Jr. has formally entered the 2010 Ohio House of Representatives race by announcing his candidacy for the 89th district.

A Democrat, Walton says he will run on issues such as job growth, education, health care and corrections reform. Walton announced his candidacy in a meeting with the Lawrence County Democratic Party’s Central Committee last week.

The 89th encompasses all of Scioto County, the western half of Lawrence County and the eastern half of Adams County. It is currently represented by four-term Rep. Todd Book (D-McDermott) who is unable to run again due to term limits.

Walton is the first Democrat to announce publicly intentions for Book’s soon-to-be-open seat. No Republican has publicly filed to date.

Walton said he is optimistic that the area’s economy will turn around soon with help from the federal stimulus package as well as Gov. Ted Strickland’s budget proposals.

“We have shovel-ready projects from Portsmouth all the way to South Point,” Walton said. “The problem is the competition around the state for a piece of the pie. I will work with local leaders to help make sure we get our piece of that pie.”

Walton also suggested another avenue that can bolster the local economy.

“If our children are truly our most important resource, we should do everything we can to keep them or bring them back. If the state of Ohio can give tax credits for film companies and for businesses to retain jobs, then surely Ohio can give a tax credit to those who are wanting to come back to the community that helped raise them and start a business or relocate one,” Walton said.

“Call it a ‘favorite son/daughter tax credit’, let them bring the wealth of knowledge they have back home and stop the brain drain from our communities.”

Walton is currently serving his fourth year as a Porter Township trustee.

He is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor of arts in political science and is currently employed as marketing and sales director for Smith’s Pharmacy and Home Medical of Portsmouth, South Webster and Minford.

Walton served six years in the Ohio Army National Guard as a combat paramedic with the 216th Engineers Battalion in Portsmouth and Ironton. He is a member of the Wheelersburg Kiwanis, a Little League and youth soccer coach and is active in his church.

He resides in Wheelersburg with his wife, Shannon, and their two sons, Trey, 5, and Will, 2.