Three candidates are challenging incumbent Democrat Nancy Garland for her seat in the 20th Ohio House District.

Three candidates are challenging incumbent Democrat Nancy Garland for her seat in the 20th Ohio House District.

The New Albany resident will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot with Republican Matt Carle, also of New Albany, and Libertarian Lawrence Binsky of Bexley. Write-in candidate Jacquelyn Thompson of Whitehall also is in the race. Thompson does not have a party affiliation listed with the Franklin County Board of Elections.

Garland, 61, is an adjunct professor at the Ohio State University School of Allied Medical Professions. She has a dual bachelor's degree from Ohio University in history and government and a juris doctorate from the George Mason School of Law.

She is married to Roy Landreth, a retired federal agent, and has two children.

Garland said she is running for office because she believes "this community needs representation in the legislature from someone who understands this district and will be responsive and accountable to its citizens. I have done this and I will continue to do so if re-elected."

Garland ran for office in 2008 because she was "tired of politics as usual."

"I felt that state government needed to start listening to the people it represented," she said. "When I was first elected just two short years ago, I made it a priority to have regular district office hours, hold community meetings and continuously visit neighborhoods all across the district to hear from families and small businesses."

As a representative, she has introduced legislation to ban texting while driving, ensure coverage for individuals with certain prosthetics and families coping with autism and to free up credit for small businesses and help improve the local economy.

Carle, 38, is the director of development and community relations for the Ohio College Access Network and is a real-estate development and zoning attorney. He earned a bachelor's degree from OSU and a juris doctorate from Capital University Law School.

He is married to Janette Carle.

Though he has never run for office, Carle said economic issues spurred him to do so.

"Ohio has serious problems and our current elected officials have failed to grasp the size and scope of these problems or find common sense solutions to bring fiscal responsibility back to our great state," he said. "Ohio's future is at risk and the fact that one in 10 Ohioans is out of work, our state is facing an $8-billion budget shortfall and that nearly 60 percent of our college graduates leave the state is entirely unacceptable."

He said partisan differences must be put aside so legislators can "work to create an economic environment that draws businesses and jobs to Ohio, rather than turn them away."

"My top priorities in office will be to help central Ohio create and attract new jobs by making our state more business friendly," he said. "I will initiate pro-business, pro-growth legislation focused on changing Ohio's current tax and regulatory structure in order to make our state more business and family friendly. I will work with fellow legislators to make Ohio's government fiscally responsible by reducing spending and critically looking at our budget to ensure we are protecting taxpayers' money.

"Finally, our state's economic future depends upon the creation of a world-class system of education so that all children have the best possible prospects for success and so we can continue to produce and retain a well-educated workforce."

Binsky, 41, owns a small business, Advantage Food & Beverage, that employs 25 people. He said his experience in operating the business influenced his decision to run for state office.

"I'm running because I'm frustrated by the 'anti-business' sentiment that exists in this state," he said. "I believe that real job creation is the best way out of our current economic mess, and I believe the state makes Ohio a poor place to locate a business."

Binsky said that if elected, he would seek to privatize the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.

"I believe it is the single best thing we can do to attract business to Ohio," he said.

Other priorities would include making it "illegal for county commissioners or the board of elections to send out absentee ballot requests without the voter requesting them," which, Binsky said, would have "saved Franklin County residents $1-million in 2010," and reducing the size of state government.

"We have less residents and a lower tax base than 20 years ago," he said. "However, we have a larger budget and more state workers."

Binsky attended OSU but did not complete a degree. The Bexley resident is married to Kimberly and has five children.

For more information about the November election, visit the Franklin County Board of Elections website at http://vote.franklincountyohio.gov.

lwince@thisweeknews.com

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