Editor’s Note: As we approach the November General Election, The Daily Sentinel will be running articles allowing the candidates in contested races to introduce themselves and tell the voters why they are running for office. Each candidate is asked, in their own words, to respond to two questions — tell us about yourself and why are you running for this office.
POMEROY — Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) is one of two candidates for State Representative for the 94th District of the Ohio House.
Tell us about yourself:
Jay Edwards was born and raised right here in Southeast Ohio. He shares our faith, our values and our commitment to community – and to one another. Jay is a graduate of Nelsonville-York High School, excelling in the classroom and in sports. He earned a scholarship to Ohio University, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics. Today, Jay lives in Nelsonville and works as a Realtor. He is a member of the Farm Bureau, Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, Nelsonville Chamber of Commerce, Nelsonville Rotary, Belpre Chamber of Commerce, Meigs County Chamber of Commerce, Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce and the National Rifle Association. Jay Edwards is not a career politician. He is also an appointed member of the Meigs and Athens County Transportation Improvement District.
He’s one of us.
We can trust Jay Edwards to stand up for us as our State Representative. Our region has a proud heritage, proud people, and a work ethic second to none. But for too long, Southeast Ohio has been left behind. Today, too many people are forced to drive long distances or leave Southeast Ohio altogether just to earn a decent paycheck. Our local schools need fair funding and more local control so teachers can teach and students can learn. And we need more funding for job training, including our vocational schools and the skilled trades. We need strong, new leaders like Jay Edwards to give our region the voice it deserves and to get the job done.
Why are you running for this office:
Growing up in Nelsonville, my family showed me what hard work and giving back to the community is all about. I love where I am from and feel that people in Columbus forget about us too much. I ran for this office because I wanted to fight to give our people a voice in the Statehouse. We are never going to be Columbus, Cleveland, or Cincinnati, and I am fine with that. However, we deserve the same opportunities.
When I was exploring the idea to run for this seat, I ventured down to Meigs County often to meet with elected officials, business leaders, and different organizations. It saddened me to realize, although the person had been in office for 8 years, many folks did not know who their State Representative was. I realized a big problem. How is someone supposed to fight effectively for us in Columbus, if they do not have a relationship with the people in this area? This is what ultimately led to me running for this seat. I have not been in office two years yet, but I feel that the mindset is shifting. People that would not ever bother to call their state elected officials prior, now know me on a first name basis. We sit and talk about the issues they are having. Typically, they deal with healthcare, the opioid crises, schools, roads, etc. Without this relationship, I would have no direction of what I should be working on. Sometimes, people in our area struggle asking for help. We are a generation of hard-working folks that would rather ask for a hand up rather than a hand out. However, it has been my privilege to serve as State Representative for the great people of Meigs County. I will continue to fight every day for Southeast Ohio.