Reynoldsburg City Councilman Nathan Burd has resigned from his position as deputy director of the Franklin County Board of Elections in order to campaign for a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives in the March 6 primary.
Burd, a Republican, stepped down from the elections board post Dec. 7 to focus on his run for the 20th District seat.
The newly formed 20th District is located in the southeastern corner of Franklin County, covering Jefferson Township through Reynoldsburg and down to the southern edge of the county.
Democrats seeking election in the primary, according to the filings at the board of elections, are Marco Miller of Canal Winchester and Heather Bishoff of Blacklick.
Burd, 34, was born and raised in Licking County and has lived in Reynoldsburg for the past nine years with his wife, Jolene.
After earning a bachelor of arts degree in political science from The Ohio State University in 2000, he spent the next four years as a legislative aide in the Ohio House of Representatives.
In 2004, Burd went to work for Heartbeat International, a nonprofit organization that sets up pregnancy resource and adoption agencies all over the world.
He then served as executive director of the Franklin County Republican Party from 2008 to 2010. Burd also served on the Franklin County Republican Central Committee in Reynoldsburg’s Ward 4 from 2006 to 2007.
In May, Burd received a master’s degree in organizational management from Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
He said his decision to change directions and run for a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives comes from his experience during the past several years.
“I really enjoyed the process of being involved in policy-making in the House of Representatives and have always had a tremendous amount of respect for the institution,” Burd said. “I feel like I have a good combination of experience, given my time as a legislative aide and as a local elected official, and I feel like the time is right to take a run for the Ohio House.”
If elected to the 20th District seat in general election, Burd said he plans to help Ohio be more competitive in terms of job growth and economic development.
“I think we’ve seen some good signs lately of companies starting to move into Ohio and that is good for our residents because it makes more jobs available,” he said.
“I’m also very passionate about education policy. I’m a big supporter of school choice, but I also believe that we have to focus on reforms for our public school system as well,” he said.
As a full-time deputy director of the board of elections, Burd’s annual salary was $113,265.
If elected to the 20th District seat, which is considered a part-time position, he would take a pay cut to make $60,584 a year, something he said he is not concerned about.
“If you’re in public service for the size of your paycheck, then you probably shouldn’t be in public service,” he said. “It’s really more about serving the people and working for what we believe in.”
Burd said he plans to stay on as an at-large member of Reynoldsburg City Council through 2012, but if elected to the Ohio House, he will resign from council, leaving one year left in the term.
“I really love council and I feel like having that local government experience is good groundwork for, hopefully, a successful House campaign,” Burd said.
“This is about public service, serving my community and the communities of that 20th House District and trying to find a way to make Ohio great,” he said.