Johnson, Smith get Tribune nod

Published 10:19 am Thursday, October 30, 2014

When it comes to representing Lawrence County at the state level, Terry Johnson and Ryan Smith have shown they will fight for what their districts need.

That’s why incumbents for the Ohio House of Representatives’ 90th and 93rd Districts have a leg up over their opponents, Thomas Jefferson Davis and Joshua Bailey.

That is not to say Davis and Bailey do not have southern Ohio’s best interests at heart. Like their opponents, both Davis and Bailey have said they would work to ease the region’s drug problem, improve infrastructure and actively pursue ways to bring jobs and industry to the area. And with some lower-level political experience under their belts, they could be well on their way to becoming positive leaders for southern Ohio.

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But Smith, running for his second term, and Johnson, for his third, have gained momentum in the state legislature that will hopefully continue to pick up speed.

Most notably, Johnson, a physician and the only medical doctor in the state legislature, has made huge strides in the fight against prescription drug abuse, championing House Bill 93, which effectively shut down pill mills in the area.

And more legislation kept rolling through the House, with the Narcan bill that expanded access to emergency workers for the opioid overdose-reversing drug, as well as a law that would allows schools to stock Epinephrine.

Likewise, Smith has worked to improve Lawrence County and his district by increasing the workforce. He played a vital roll in bring the Ohio Strategic Training Center to the county to start a welder training program. Smith has also said he would continue to work to give rural school districts more educational opportunities, push for more online distance learning and work to increase broadband connectivity throughout the region.

It is for these reasons and others that The Tribune endorses Johnson and Smith to represent Ohio’s 90th and 93rd districts. The two already have leadership experience that should continue to be able to keep Lawrence County on the minds of those in Columbus.