Richardson, Bohland vying for GOP nomination in 86th House District – Marion Star


A newcomer to Ohio politics is trying unseat a two-term member of the state’s House of Representatives.
Rep. Tracy Richardson, R-Marysville, is facing a challenge from Dublin resident Michael R. Bohland for the Republican Party nomination in the 86th House District primary election.
Richardson, a former Marysville City Council member, is in her second term in the Ohio House. She won both general election campaigns by landslide margins. Richardson won the 2018 Republican Party primary election after collecting 72% of the vote and then ran without opposition in the 2020 primary election. She is married with three children.
Bohland, who is running for elected office for the first time, has spent his entire professional career in the manufacturing and textile industry. He has worked as an electrical engineer and project leader at Honda in Marysville for the past 14 years, he said. He is married with three children.
Richardson said the past two years, especially dealing with issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, have been difficult for everyone in Ohio. She said she has focused on trying to do what is right and beneficial for residents of the 86th District.
“I’ve tried to be faithful to do and be and live the values that I told people I have, which is faith, family, and freedom,” she said. “When it comes to what’s been happening most recently with our freedoms, I have struggled and worked to secure our freedoms. In particular, I pushed against mask mandates, especially in schools. I worked to provide support for businesses and pushed back against (Gov. Mike DeWine) trying to close our businesses. And I very sincerely worked to stop the vaccine mandates. In this pandemic, there have been many limitations to our freedoms that should not have happened.”
Richardson said she has a vision for helping Ohio to rebound economically from the struggles the state has faced during the pandemic.
“The number one thing that I want to do is to keep Ohio moving forward out of this pandemic and preventing any recession,” she said. “I want to restore economic prosperity. You know, before this pandemic we were doing pretty darn well. But things have just spiraled out of control, especially with the cost of petroleum and inflation. What we really need to do in Ohio is to get people working again.
“We have to spend less at the state level. I’m on the finance committee and with every single bill that comes to my desk, I ask, ‘How much does this cost’. We’re going to have spend less at the state level and reduce taxes because we need to assist residents and families as they’re juggling to make ends meet in this inflation situation. So that’s my principle focus: to restore economic prosperity and keep Ohio moving forward.”
Bohland said his interest in politics was stoked in recent years due to restrictions and regulations enacted when the coronavirus pandemic made emerged in Ohio.
“Forcing masks on my kids is what started this whole thing,” Bohland said. “Then I started looking at more things. Trying to get my family to take this vaccine that’s experimental, that to this day we haven’t taken because we don’t see the need. The lockdowns on small businesses were unconstitutional. You start really paying attention to things and you start realizing other things like the whole (2020) election with (former President Donald) Trump. Ohio wasn’t on the list where we had election irregularities, but you start to ask some questions and you see some weird statistics and ask more questions.”
Bohland said the more he’s researched and studied state and local politics in Ohio, the more he’s become convinced that elected officials are misusing taxpayer money.
“They’re taking your tax dollars, my tax dollars, and they’re just flushing it down,” he said. “On my website, I say most bills are crap, and I quite literally mean that, they are. Many of the bills are a waste of money and a waste of time. We shouldn’t be spending time on those bills. We should spend time on important things. Let’s get rid of the (state) income tax completely. Let’s make Ohio a more business-friendly state. Let’s get rid of the (capital gains) tax. Let’s actually reduce taxes and not keep adding these stupid bills that aren’t helping anybody.
“The more I sit here and look at what’s going on in government, these people, for both parties, doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, they’re not looking out for the average joes like me. They’re just trying to suck tax dollars out of us and get us to where we’re maxed out on paying taxes.”
Bohland said his study of campaign finances “really disturbed” him, noting that he believes there is too much money from special interest groups and political action committees (PACs) flowing into politicians’ coffers. He has criticized Richardson on the issue of campaign finances, including for previously receiving donations from former Rep. Larry Householder, who is facing federal criminal charges related to an alleged $60 million bribery scandal involving the financial bailout of two First Energy nuclear power plants.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re Democrat or Republican, they’re all getting money from the same sources,” he said. “So are they really representing us? That’s probably the number one thing that got me going on (his foray into politics). There’s special interests poking all these people. The most disturbing is the special interests. Until we fix (campaign finance regulations) and we get people who are running without accepting money and don’t answer to special interest groups, we’re never going to fix any of these problems.”
Richardson said she has adhered to campaign finance laws and has been above board in her dealings with donors, maintaining integrity and honesty in the process.
“When people make a donation to my campaign, that donation gets sent to my treasurer. My treasurer identifies those individuals to me and I thank them,” she said. “But I will tell you, I have never voted on something because I have been backed by some special interest group. I am an independent thinker and a worker, and I do what I think is right. Period.”
On the issue of abortion, both Richardson and Bohland identify themselves as “pro-life.” They each said they support the United States Supreme Court’s decision on June 24 in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and the 1992 Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey decision, thus returning the question of abortion regulation to state governments.
“… the Supreme Court reaffirmed the right of states to govern themselves and the right to life of every human being … born or unborn,” Richardson wrote on the day the Supreme Court published its decision. “In the decades since the Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, millions upon millions of innocent lives were tragically ended. This day, in a historic decision, human rights are restored to the voiceless and defenseless child in the womb and I am hopeful.
“While grateful to the U.S. Supreme Court for their herculean decision to protect life, I am truly aware of the emotions and concerns of women who believe this is an infringement upon their rights. I want to express an even more determined commitment to help women in every possible way and not to criminalize them,” she added. “There is no more fundamental right in our U.S. Constitution than the right to life. Without life, we have no other principles to uphold. The decision is powerfully important to all Americans because it is the essence and foundation of who we are as a free Nation.”
Bohland said he agrees that the issue of abortion regulation should be decided on at the state level.
“I think it’s good bringing it back to the states,” he said. “Generally speaking, I’m 100% pro-life. I personally believe that once a baby is conceived, it’s a human being. We have to provide support for women who are in a bad situation and get them the help the need. I think we need to continue to have discussions about how to best help and support women.”
The winner of the Republican Party primary election will face Marysville attorney Barbara A. Luke in the Nov. 8 general election. Luke is running without opposition in the Democratic Party primary election in the 86th House District. According to her campaign website, she is the founder of her own law firm in Marysville, Luke Lawyers.
Email: [email protected] | Twitter: @AndrewACCarter 

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