A retired Lafayette Township school teacher is running for the Democratic nomination to succeed House Speaker William G. Batchelder as representative for the 69th District.
Batchelder, R-Medina, can’t run for re-election because of term limits.
Richard Javorek said he wants the job to be a voice for small governments and rural Ohioans.
“I think (Columbus) is not really hearing the frustration of the people in rural areas, the township areas,” Javorek said. “We’ve been hurt a lot in the rollback of local government funds.”
Javorek, who serves on the Lafayette Township Zoning Commission, said he has seen the impact state cuts have had on townships like Lafayette, and said he thinks the state needs an overhaul of its spending priorities.
“City governments across the area are hurting,” he said. “Fire departments are breaking down and it’s hard to serve the public locally when the state keeps drawing back funding. I would rather see a new fire truck than $3.5 billion sitting in a rainy-day fund.”
Javorek was a teacher with Brunswick Schools, retiring in 2006. He also taught at Bryant and Stratton Business College until 2009.
In addition to serving as a local educator, he also was a founding member of the Ohio Social Studies Resource Center in Columbus, financed under the Ohio Board of Regents. In 2009, that group consolidated its efforts under the Ohio Resource Center at Ohio University.
Javorek also serves as the assistant district commissioner for the Boy Scouts, which includes Medina and the northern part of Wayne County.
Javorek said he was appointed to his Zoning Commission post by three Republican trustees, and said he’s willing to work with members of the opposite party.
“I think they felt like I’m trustworthy,” he said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Javorek was the only Democrat to file petitions to run in the May 6 primary race for the 69th District seat.
Two Republicans have filed petitions: Medina County Commissioner Stephen Hambley and Chris Sawicki, a Home Depot contractor.
Hambley has the backing of Batchelder. Sawicki said he’s running to be an advocate in Columbus for working-class families.
The deadline for filing to run in the primary is today.
In the county commissioner race, incumbent Adam Friedrick has filed to run in the Republican primary.
“I like being in a position where I can have an impact and I really enjoyed working with economic development,” Friedrick said.
He said he’s learned a lot on the job since he first was elected in 2010.
“I’ve also learned about the county and the budget and all the entities that go into county government,” he said.
Friedrick said he enjoys working with local businesses, especially in the manufacturing sector to help add and keep jobs in Medina County.
“I want them to know there’s an ally in local government interested in working with them,” he said.
Friedrick didn’t have a primary challenger as of Tuesday afternoon.
In the Democratic primary for commissioner, Elisa Kazek, of Spencer Township, has filed petitions. Kazek ran unsuccessfully against Commissioner Hambley in 2012.
Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.