Editor’s Note: As we approach the November General Election, Ohio Valley Publishing 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.
OHIO VALLEY — For Auditor of State, residents will be choosing between Keith Faber (R-Celina) or Zack Space (D-Dover) from the two major parties. There’s also a third party candidate on the ballot, Robert Coogan, a libertarian
Responses submitted by Faber and Space to Ohio Valley Publishing, are listed below in alphabetical order.
Tell us about yourself
I was the youngest of four children raised by a single mother. I got my first job at the age of 12, sweeping floors and cleaning toilets for a local business. I was the first in my family to go to college, then law school. I met my wife of 22 years, Andrea, in Celina, where I live with her and our two children, Adam and Brooke. Celina is also where I work, operating my own law firm that specializes in mediation
My entire legislative career has focused on making our state government more efficient, effective, and transparent. That’s why I am running for Auditor now – to make our state government work better, faster, and cheaper. I am the most qualified candidate running – that is why the Ohio Society of CPAs unanimously endorsed me and why I have been endorsed by the last 4 state auditors to hold the job.
Why I decided to run for this office?
My entire legislative career has focused on making state government more efficient, effective, and transparent. I was a part of the Senate leadership that worked with Governor Kasich to cut taxes by almost $5 billion. I drafted the Common-Sense Initiative that has dramatically reduced new regulations. I worked on taking Ohio from an $8 billion deficit to a $2 billion surplus and taking our rainy -day fund from $0.89 to $2.7 Billion. Ohio is doing better, but better is still not good enough.
I’m running for Auditor now because it is the one office responsible for oversight in state government and protecting the taxpayers. The Auditor is responsible for catching government officials, lying, cheating, or stealing. I have been a prosecutor and I will put public officials, regardless of party, betraying the public trust in jail. I am not going to Columbus to make friends, I am going to Columbus to make the lives of Ohioans, from Lake Erie to the Ohio River, better.
An Auditor that wants to see government work quicker, better, and cheaper for the taxpayers has tremendous power to whip government into shape. That is what I plan to do.
Tell us about yourself
Zack Space was born and raised in the small eastern Ohio town of Dover, in Tuscarawas County. After graduating from law school at The Ohio State University, he returned to Dover and practiced law for nearly 20 years with his father, during which time he served as a Public Defender and as Dover’s City Law Director. In 2006, he was elected to serve as the Congressman from Ohio’s 18th District, representing 16 counties in rural southeastern Ohio.
While in Congress, Zack championed working class Ohioans, and was instrumental in bringing broadband technology, employment opportunities, and infrastructure improvements to his district.
Zack is running to serve as Ohio’s next Auditor of State, where he will use the broad power of the office to deliver much needed reform to state government. Zack is committed to shining a light on the corruptive influence of money in politics, ending extreme partisan gerrymandering, and serving as a watchdog for hardworking Ohio Families.
Zack has been endorsed by the United Mine Workers, the Ohio AFL-CIO, the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, the Ohio Education Association, Ohio Federation of Teachers, and Farmers’ Union.
Why I decided to run for this office
I’m running for Auditor of State because the corrupting influences of money in politics and of political greed, best exemplified by extreme partisan gerrymandering, are grave threats to our democracy. The Auditor of State is uniquely positioned to tackle these two nefarious influences and to restore faith and confidence in the institution of government.
As Auditor, I will be a dynamic and independent watchdog of elected officials all across Ohio. When politicians put the interests of their donors above the needs of their constituents, I will be there to call them out.
We’ve witnessed this happen time and again in recent years, most notably the ECOT scam, which amounts to the largest political scandal in Ohio history. The for-profit charter school ECOT has stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers — money that would have otherwise gone to public school districts — by falsifying attendance data of its students. The scam was allowed to flourish because ECOT’s founder was a top political donor to incumbent politicians.
The Auditor also serves on the Redistricting Commission, which will redraw Ohio’s legislative maps in 2021, after the next census in 2021. I have pledged to end gerrymandering in Ohio by creating as many fair and competitive legislative districts as possible.
I also intend fulfill the traditional fiscal compliance duties of the Auditor’s office, with an eye towards proactive and holistic reviews of state departments and agencies.
The political system should work for all of us. It’s that simple. As your next Auditor, I’ll do everything I can to make government worth believing in again.