Two local candidates are facing off today in what is one of — if not the most — hotly contested state Senate battles in Ohio: the 5th Senate District race, with Republicans flooding thousands of dollars into television advertisements in hopes of keeping the seat once held by Democrats.
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Running in the swing district are Democrat Paul Bradley of Dayton, who ran unsuccessfully for Dayton school board in 2017, and state Rep. Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City.
Incumbent Sen. Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City, is stepping down due to term limits and running for Miami County Commission. Beagle defeated former Democratic state Sen. Fred Strahorn for the seat in 2010.
The district includes most of the city of Dayton, west-central Montgomery County, southern Darke County and all of Miami and Preble counties.
The swing district seat has been held by both Democrats and Republicans over the years and typically features a hard-fought battle.
This year, the Republican Senate Campaign Committee has spent more than $830,000 in in-kind donations to Huffman’s campaign, including media buys, staff lodging, digital advertising and photography, according to financial disclosure records.
“It makes me feel that my party is confident in me as a candidate and how important every race all the way up and down, how important they are,” said Huffman.
Bradley questions the accuracy of the advertisements, which he says blame him for rising healthcare costs even though he’s not an elected official.
“I have a record of standing up for access to affordable health care and working on behalf of the people of Ohio. Claims to the contrary are completely ridiculous and a distortion of the facts,” Bradley said in a statement.
A brief look at the candidates on major issues:
Huffman, a physician, supports limiting “the rising costs of inefficient government programs such as Medicaid and determine alternative solutions for Ohio’s patients,” passing legislation to quell prescription drug abuse, work to prevent false Medicare and Medicaid claims and “work with healthcare providers and insurers to modernize health insurance.”
Bradley said he supports Medicaid expansion, arguing it “would be irresponsible to rip that health care away from people now when they need it more than ever.”
Huffman said he believes taxes “are simply too high.” He argues Ohio “needs to decrease the tax burden placed on businesses and families,” adding, “Ohio’s legislators must practice fiscal discipline in spending policies in Columbus.”
Bradley argues “Republican leadership in Columbus has consistently cut much-needed funds for our local communities, which is unacceptable.” He said Ohio has cut income taxes by slashing education and local government funding, forcing communities to pass levies, which he said “is not a sustainable or fiscally responsible solution.”
Other answers are available in the Dayton Daily News voter guide. Bradley responded to the newspaper’s questions; Huffman did not, so the newspaper used his website in reporting this story.
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