Democrat Jim Staton is running against Rep. Scott Lipps, R-Franklin, right, for the District 62 seat in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Warren County state rep race pits incumbent against local lawyer

A local lawyer is challenging the reelection of the state representative for Springboro, Franklin, Waynesville and Carlisle and Clearcreek, Hamilton and Salem townships.

Democrat Jim Staton is running against Rep. Scott Lipps, R-Franklin, for the District 62 seat in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Lipps, a former councilman and mayor in Franklin, is seeking a second term.

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Staton, a Clearcreek Twp. resident and partner in a Huber Heights-based firm, is running for the first time.

If elected, Staton said he would be “disconnected from the special interest, PAC and lobbyist money that is so pervasive in Columbus.” He pledged to push for “transparency laws mandating a thorough record of all expenditures made for the benefit of our legislators by lobbyists or any other group.”

Staton identified this as Ohio’s biggest challenge, in a response for the Dayton Daily News Voters Guide.

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Lipps, a Franklin resident and vice chair of the House finance committee, said Ohio’s biggest challenge is the drug crisis.

“I think that we are behind the curve,” Lipps said. “We’re losing a generation of parents.”.

Both agreed Ohio needs more jobs and less college debt.

Lipps credited JobsOhio investments in job training and job growth. He called for more local funding of job readiness, leaving young Ohioans with jobs but no college debt.

“It has to be pushed down to a more grassroots level,” he said.

Staton said existing programs, including JobsOhio, granting $1.1 billion in tax credits “have quite frankly failed,” except for “preferred companies.” Instead, he said, “we must have an environment conducive to growth for the companies bringing those jobs.”

Staton said he would work for a $12-per-hour minimum wage with cost of living adjustments. Lipps said the market should set the minimum wage, calling instead for better job training.

State tax cuts divide the two candidates.

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“We now have the lowest corporate taxes in the Midwest and among the worst job growth and wage numbers. Ohio has been another example of trickle down economics failing the average citizen resulting in drastic cuts to our public schools, our local governments and our necessary infrastructure,” Staton said in a Voter’s Guide response.

Lipps said the tax cuts over the past 10 years have brought the state near full employment and resulted in people investing more in the local economy.

“Yes, I think it’s worked,” he said.

Lipps would limit abortion to the first 20 days of a fetus’ development.

“At some point, that is a life,” he said.

Staton said, “the decision on when and if that procedure is necessary is and must remain with the person who is pregnant and who will bear the responsibility for caring for a child if the pregnancy is brought to term.

Both are business owners and support gun rights and conceal and carry permitting. Unlike Lipps, Staton opposed “stand your ground” laws. He also said state lawmakers needed to focus on the state’s drug problems.

If elected, Staton pledged to use his skills and experiences to fight for residents of the district.

“I am not a politician,” he said.

If reelected, Lipps said he would use experience from his 16 years in local government in Franklin and term in the statehouse. In addition to his committee appointment, Lipps said he was included in “leadership calls” typically limited to the half-dozen GOP leaders.

“It’s given Warren County a seat at the table,” he said.

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