Gentile, Thompson Face Off For Ohio 30th District Senate Seat

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The contest for state senator in Ohio's 30th District is now joined.

Lou Gentile is the Democratic candidate and Shane Thompson is the Republican.
Gentile now represents the 30th District as an appointed senator.
Thompson is a businessman from St. Clairsville
Each was in the news this past week.
Gentile because he made a campaign swing through Athens, Meigs and Washington counties.
Thompson because he just entered the race.
Whatever else they say, the two men agree that jobs is the number one issue.
That is to say, job creation.   
"What I continue to do is fight for local jobs", says Gentile, who points to his efforts to change the energy budget bill in regard to oil and gas development. "We want local workers to have an opportunity to be hired and to be employed, long term employment, in good paying jobs and so that's been my message to industry leaders and I’ve been working alongside folks in both parties, folk in the construction trade who are well-qualified and trained."
Thompson says his private sector experience makes him a better choice.
"Two big burdens are taxes and regulations. I think we need to have regulations, but they need to be smart and they need to be efficient. In terms of investment," said Thompson. "You know, businesses want to see a tax policy that’s fair and consistent so they can make decisions on a long-term basis."
Most every candidate these days talks first about growing the economy and these two are no different.
But what else is important?
Education, says Gentile.

“I’m sitting here with Governor Strickland, and I’m thinking back to traveling with him across the state and his plans for education, the evidence-based model, so much work and effort went into what was done. Unfortunately, a lot of that was undone," said Gentile. "Governor Kasich came to the city of Steubenville, my hometown, to talk about his plans for the state.  He gave his State of the State address, and really I anticipated in that speech that we would hear what his plans for comprehensive education reform were.  We didn’t.  We haven’t seen in this new process, this so-called Corrections Bill that just came out.  There’s no funding for local governments, no funding for education, no comprehensive education plan.”

WOUB News asked Thompson to also discuss his views on education.

"In terms of education, in as far as policy and what we want our education system to do, sure, I think there are things that we can do to make our children more competitive in the 21st century, you know, more of a focus on mathematics and science," said Thompson.  "But these are things I think the teachers would agree we need a constructive dialogue on laying out the path of what we want our schools to do, what we want to teach our children in order to prepare them to be competitive.  So once that path is defined, then I think the next part is to going to be economics of how do you do that. And then certainly, I think at that point, the government does come into play a little bit."