Kristina Roegner has represented the 37th Ohio House District for the past eight years. The Hudson Republican faces term limits and is seeking election to the state Senate. That has resulted in two strong candidates vying to be her successor, Casey Weinstein, a Hudson Democrat, and Mike Rasor, a Stow Republican. Both would be able representatives. Yet the edge goes to Weinstein, in large part because of the perspectives he would bring to the Statehouse yet also due to an unfortunate cloud over the Rasor candidacy.
We recommend the election of Casey Weinstein on Nov. 6.
The district is a rarity in this era of extreme gerrymandering. It is competitive, Hillary Clinton narrowly winning two years ago, Mitt Romney prevailing by a larger 2.5 percentage points in 2012.
Weinstein sought to unseat Roegner in 2016 and lost by a wide margin. He seemed a candidate in a hurry, having spent a brief time on the Hudson City Council. Today he hardly qualifies as a council veteran. The experience has made him an improved candidate.
A graduate of the Air Force Academy with a master’s degree in business administration, Weinstein is an executive with Gartner, a leading information technology firm. He is part of developing business with the Air Force. So he knows how business works.
Most important is that Weinstein gets right the state’s priorities. He understands the need for public investment. Thus he backs a restoration of the Local Government Fund, slashed by the governor and the legislature. He sees the value in doing more for education, from repairing the school funding formula to routing resources to early education and public colleges and universities.
Weinstein also puts emphasis on tapping the state’s strengths to develop further clean energy, including the easing of setback requirements that have all but halted wind power development here. He supports expanded access to broadband. He makes the case for Ohio looking forward as it thinks about the state economy.
For more than eight years, Mike Rasor has been an effective, if at times controversial, member of the Stow City Council. He has been a persistent voice for fiscal discipline and more efficient government. If his positions and proposals have sparked disagreement, it is hard to miss his preparation and contribution to the debate, not to mention his leadership.
As a state lawmaker, Rasor would focus attention on reducing generational poverty, though his remedies, such as apprenticeship programs, fall short of the problem’s complexity. He, too, recognizes the value of the Local Government Fund and the Medicaid expansion. Yet he doesn’t convey the same appreciation as his opponent about the need for Ohio to invest.
In addition, a federal judge recently ordered harsh sanctions against Rasor and his law firm for unethical behavior in the handling of a lawsuit. Rasor denies doing anything wrong, and the actions do not seem to fit his character. He and his colleagues will appeal. Still, this is something to give voters pause, and in Casey Weinstein, they have a better choice.
The 37th District covers northeast Summit County, including part of Cuyahoga Falls, Macedonia, Silver Lake and Twinsburg.