The redrawing of districts for the U.S. House and the Ohio legislature has landed many incumbents in safe seats, their election all but assured next week. Worth noting are the several from the region who have performed well, voters having good reason to tap them for another term.
Tim Ryan is seeking a fifth term in the U.S. House, representing the new 13th District that extends from the eastern border of the state through Youngstown, Warren, Ravenna, Kent and into the city of Akron. The Niles Democrat has been a strong advocate for the Northeast Ohio economy, in particular, its manufacturing sector, seeing the importance of retooling traditional industries, such as autos, and the crucial place of innovation, investing in knowledge and new technologies.
Ryan has positioned himself well within his caucus, building influence yet also showing a capacity to work across the aisle.
Marcia Fudge is seeking a third term in the U.S. House. She joined Congress following the death of Stephanie Tubbs Jones. She brought experience as the mayor of Warrensville Heights and through a range of public positions, in management and policymaking. Her turf has been the Cleveland area. Now the Democrat is running in new territory, the result of a redistricting travesty. The new 11th District extends from east of Cleveland into the city and then runs south reaching western Summit County and then into central Akron.
Fudge has been a capable and energetic lawmaker. One key for her will involve showing sufficient interest in the southern reaches of her district.
Tom Sawyer once represented Akron in Congress. Since 2007, he has served in the state Senate, and is seeking another four-year term in the 28th District, covering Akron, Green, Barberton, Springfield Township, Coventry Township, Lakemore, Tallmadge and the Summit County part of Mogadore.
The Democrat has been a refreshing presence at the Statehouse. His institutional knowledge matters in the era of term limits. He was an Ohio House member in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In this return trip, Sawyer has taken the lead in areas of education and the budget. He has been a reasoned voice, working with Republicans at times, also playing the role of constructive critic. He has been part of a bipartisan effort seeking to improve the way legislative district lines are redrawn.
Vernon Sykes, too, runs counter to term limits. The Democrat spent a dozen years in the Ohio House in the late 1980s and 1990s, before term limits took hold. He returned in 2007 and now is seeking another two years, representing the new 34th District in the center of Akron. Sykes long has been a thoughtful critic in crafting the state budget, bringing much knowledge and the right priorities, from investing in schools to paying attention to the needs of the poor and vulnerable.
In the new 75th District, covering central and southern Portage County, Kathleen Clyde is seeking re-election to the Ohio House for the first time. The Democrat has made a strong start in the legislature, attentive to constituents and the issues. She has a played a leading role in the skirmishes over how elections are conducted in the state, pushing back appropriately against efforts to narrow early, in-person voting, and other attempts to erect voting barriers, subtle and not so.
Kirk Schuring is another veteran lawmaker, with time in the Ohio House and Senate the past two decades. He now is seeking re-election to a second, two-year term in the new 48th House District, covering a chunk of northern Stark County, including Jackson Township and North Canton. His experience paid dividends recently as he guided complicated yet necessary changes in the state’s pension systems through the House. Schuring is a moderate Republican, a group shrinking in number but still important in addressing the many challenges facing the state.
No one at the Statehouse matches the experience of William Batchelder, the House speaker the past two years. He spent three decades in the House before term limits hit and he moved to judgeships. He returned to the House in 2007, and now is seeking a fourth, two-year term in the new 69th District, covering most of Medina County. This editorial page has disagreed often with Batchelder. What has proved valuable about his tenure are his knowledge, perspective and temperament. He knows how to work well with others. He grasps the importance of civility in public life.
As originally published, this editorial erred in describing the 28th Ohio Senate District. The above copy has been corrected.