Marysville City Councilman Dan Fogt is hoping to unseat incumbent state Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) in the May 6 Republican primary.
Both are vying to represent voters in the Ohio House of Representatives 86th District.
Fogt, who has served on Marysville City Council for 14 years, is making his first run for state office.
Fogt, 63, graduated from Anna High School in Shelby County in 1968 and earned a bachelor of science degree in agronomy from Purdue University in 1972.
After graduation, Fogt worked in agribusiness, selling fertilizer to farmers for 15 years. After two years running a consulting business, he went to work in the chemical plant at the Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. He retired in December 2011 after 22 years on the job.
Fogt volunteers for Mobile Wheels, the Christian Prison Ministry and Marys-ville Evening Lions Club and conducts a U.S. Constitution class at the Marysville Public Library.
He and his wife of 41 years, Betty, have three adult children and seven grandchildren. He has lived in Marysville for 36 years.
Fogt said he decided to run for office because he disagreed with Pelanda on some significant issues.
"I've tried to discuss those with her, and she doesn't agree with my thoughts," Fogt said.
"I'm running against her to try to bring state government back to being responsible to the citizens," he said.
Fogt said the biggest campaign issue is state House Bill 5. HB 5 is a business-backed bill designed to simplify Ohio's municipal income-tax system, but many city officials are worried it will cut their revenue. The bill passed the House in November but remains stalled in the Senate.
"HB 5 is an attempt for the state government to take control of the local governments. HB 5 will reduce the revenue of the cities," Fogt said. "The bottom line result will be the state government will basically tell us all what to do."
The new set of federal educational standards known as Common Core also is a point of contention.
"My opponent has supported Common Core, and I'm opposed to Common Core. Common Core is an attempt by the federal government to take over the education system," Fogt said. "It's also a collection of private data from the students in the schools."
On the fiscal side, Fogt said he would like to restore local government funding to townships, cities and counties.
"Local government funds were cut in the last couple of years to balance the Ohio budget, and now it's time to restore the local government funds," he said.
Fogt also would like to fix the funding formula for public schools in Ohio.
"We need the best education possible for our children with the control by parents and local school boards," he said. "I think parents and local school boards know what's best for their children."
Fogt said he believes Pelanda has a connection with lobbyists that influences her vote on certain issues.
"I will listen to people with differing opinions," he said. "And I will do my best to respond and make the best choices for the citizens of District 86.
"I will make my own decisions about voting. I will not blindly follow the leadership of the legislature," Fogt said.
"I'm fearful for the future of Ohio. And I think we are going in the wrong direction," Fogt said. "I would like to be one of the people that helps get us back on track."