PERRYSBURG – Consensus building is the theme behind the campaign of incumbent Ohio Rep. Haraz Ghanbari, R-Perrysburg, who is running as a Republican for the newly redistricted Ohio 75th District House seat.
He currently represents the Ohio 3rd District House seat, which has similar boundaries.
Both candidates for the office were asked to speak on three issues they felt were most important.
“The three most important issues can be summed up as investing in our children’s future, growing our economy and making our community safer,” Ghanbari said.
Ghanbari’s wife, Kim, is a teacher, and they have two children who are both school-age.
“We know the value of a quality education. I’ve supported legislation, through our General Assembly, that has provided record funding to our schools. We’ve also provided record funding in wrap-around services,” Ghanbari said.
He pointed out that he is continuing to advocate for less in the way of mandated testing.
He described the wrap-around services as other areas of life that may be a struggle. He gave food insecurity and mental health as examples.
“As I speak to folks throughout the district, mental health is certainly something that is constantly been brought up. So, making sure that we have the resources in place to help those folks that are struggling, whether they are a child or an adult, that is something I will continue to advocate for,” Ghanbari said.
He also advocates for increased access to vocational education for the skilled trades and has received endorsements from a number of unions, including the Northwest Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, IBEW Local 8 and the Communication Workers of America Local 4319.
He is proud of his support for and from police, fire, veterans and pro-gun groups, like the National Rifle Association, but also from unions that have traditionally leaned Democratic.
Ghanbari is on the finance committee, which he feels is key to his support for the economy in Ohio and specifically his district.
“Anything that has dollars and cents attached to it, comes before the finance committee and that gives me an opportunity to dig deeper into the legislation, making sure that as we are spending our precious tax dollars, that there is a return on the investment to the taxpayer,” he said.
He said he also voted for bipartisan legislation to help small businesses stay open during the pandemic.
“As we look at what is going on with inflation, not only with the cost of a gallon of gas, that’s going up, when you talk to home builders, who used to pay X for plywood, they are now paying X times three or four, when people are trying to decide which bill gets paid that month, and people don’t have to decide if it’s going to be the water bill this month or the house payment this month,” Ghanbari said. “Those are the kitchen table issues I’m hearing about when I knock on doors.”
Ghanbari believes in being accessible and talking to his constituents. He said that he has personally knocked on more than 12,000 doors this election cycle, and encourages people to stop to talk to him as he drives his electric scooter through neighborhoods.
“I believe that nothing is more important than the safety and security of our communities,” Ghanbari said.
He points to a new Multi-Agency Radio Communications tower that he was able to secure funding for in Bowling Green, the national police ride-along challenge and expansion of township police jurisdiction to cover interstate highways.
Ghanbari’s interest in security stems from his background as a veteran. He is a Navy veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Inherent Resolve, and an Army veteran of Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia. Promoted to lieutenant commander on Sept. 1, 2018, he is in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
In November 2018 he was put in the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame as their youngest inductee.
Ghanbari was appointed to fill the vacant house seat, then successfully ran for the position. This is his second election.
Both candidates for the 75th House District were asked how they felt the redrawn Ohio House districts would affect them.
On May 28, the 3rd House District was one that had its boundaries changed. The district previously followed the boundary lines of Wood County. The new 75th House District follows the old 3rd District lines closely, but no longer includes a northeast section, including Northwood and several other communities. The new 44th House District will be joining that sectioned off part to parts of Lucas and Ottawa counties.
“The district change, for me, doesn’t mean much. Regardless of what the district lines look like, I will still work hard to represent the people throughout the district,” Ghanbari said. “People from those areas, who are upset that I will no longer be representing them, I’ve told them as long as I’m the state representative, they will have a voice in the state House, whether or not they are in District 75, or a different House district.”
The official Ghanbari campaign website is www.voteharaz.com.