Washington C.H. City Council member Caleb Johnson announced this week his candidacy for the Ohio House of Representatives while standing on the steps of the Fayette County Courthouse.
Johnson is a local resident of Washington C.H. He ran in 2017 for the Washington C.H. City Council and was elected. His term began on Jan. 1 of 2018.
Johnson explained in a press release that he is now running as a Republican for the 92nd District, which includes portions of Fayette, Pickaway and Ross counties.
The 92nd District seat is currently held by State Rep. Gary Scherer. Scherer is serving his fourth term which is nearing an end. Due to term limits, Scherer is not eligible for reelection.
According to Johnson, he will continue to serve as a city council member unless elected as state representative. Johnson will not be on the ballot for state representative until the March 15, 2020 primary election.
When asked by the Record-Herald why he has chosen to run for state representative at this current time, Johnson said, “Some of it has to do with timing.”
“Gary Scherer is term-limited,” explained Johnson. “I think that he has done, overall, a great job representing this area and I care deeply about the people just like he does.”
Johnson explained there have been times while working on the city council that certain things could not be done due to size regulations of the population — he said one such example involves the licensing requirements that makes it so people cannot take their drinks with them during the local shop hops in downtown.
“That sort of legislation is available for bigger cities. I think right now that could help a lot of businesses downtown,” said Johnson. “It’s something where it’s just a size requirement and I don’t see how, just because we’re a small town, we can’t have the same benefit as big cities.”
The press release explains that Johnson attended the Ohio State University, where he obtained a B.A. in English and a B.A. in political science. Johnson is set to graduate in May from the University Of Dayton School Of Law.
“Knocking on doors and talking to real people in this area helped me learn from a young age that the talking heads on T.V. really don’t understand us when they talk politics,” said Johnson. “We want to know our job is safe, that our kids are educated properly and that the money we work hard for goes toward our families—not big government run by political elites.”
The press release further explains, “During his speech on Thursday, Johnson talked about the importance of staying focused on what he considers the real issues facing Ohioans in rural communities. In doing so, he recalled the first time he got involved in politics, working closely with the campaigns of State Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) and State Representative Gary Scherer (R-Circleville).”
During his conversation with the Record-Herald, Johnson explained that he worked as a Constitutional aide for Jim Butler in the House of Representatives for three years.
“I think that experience was absolutely wonderful,” said Johnson. “I think that I saw a lot of things.”
One of those “things” Johnson mentioned he learned about was healthcare transparency and how important it is.
When asked to define transparency in his own words, Johnson said, “Transparency is honesty to our constituents. There is no reason you should have a public government that does things in secret. It’s honesty to our constituents: no excuse.”
“It’s important to me that we have strong leadership in Columbus telling the people there just how great this area is,” said Johnson.