The new 38th Ohio House District hugs the western side of Summit and Stark counties. Marilyn Slaby is the Republican incumbent, having returned to the legislature in April, after her husband, Lynn, stepped down to join the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. The Democratic challenger is Michael Kaplan, an attorney and former mayor of Peninsula. He is the stronger candidate, bringing passion and practicality to public causes, most notably, in the founding of River Day!, the annual celebration of the Cuyahoga River.
We recommend the election of Michael Kaplan on Nov. 6.
Kaplan knows well a range of environmental matters, helpful preparation for a lawmaker with a considerable share of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in the district. He adds a large dose of common sense to addressing challenges. His voice would be helpful as the state takes up the rush to drill for oil and natural gas. He understands the value of Lake Erie as an economic driver and as a natural treasure to be protected.
This penchant for balance stems from his experience in local government, dealing with an array of problems and interests. He knows how to press his argument and find consensus, a combination the Statehouse sorely needs in greater number.
Slaby has her own range of experience, including as a teacher and small businesswoman. She has shown independence, raising concerns about a rush to enact the third-grade reading guarantee. After two stays at the Statehouse, totaling roughly a year, she hasn’t had time to develop a full record. In this race, she faces a better equipped opponent.