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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chronicle-Telegram Endorsement

Four Democrats with lots of experience in govern ment are running to fill a seat in the state House of Representatives. The youngest one has the most perti nent experience.

Dan Ramos, 28, has spent more time in the Statehouse than any of his rivals.

From 2005 to 2007 he served as an aide to state
Rep. Joe Koziura, D-Lorain, whose depar ture later this year because of term limits has sparked the four-way primary to replace him as representative from the 56th District.

In 2007 and 2008, Ramos served as a policy aide to House Minority Leader Joyce Beatty, D-Columbus, focusing on the state’s higher education budget.

In 2009 he served as one of four senior policy ana lysts in the office of House Speaker Armond Budish, D-Beachwood, with a concentration on higher educa tion funding and health care.

No one else in the race can match Ramos’ familiari ty with the issues the Legislature has debated in the past five years, its rules and mores, and its leaders.

Which is not to dismiss the experience of the other candidates: Jose Candelario, 30, former director of the Lorain County Board of Elections; Richard Williams, 78, former New Russia Township trustee; and Maria Zampieri Vitale, 60, former child support enforcement investigator with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

They’ve all held important jobs, and they all have a higher profile in the county than Ramos, who has spent most of his time in Columbus since graduating from Admiral King High School in 1999, first at The Ohio State University, then at the Statehouse. He is the son of Raul Ramos, former member of the Lorain school board.

He has used the time in Columbus well, not only becoming familiar with the Legislature but developing a sophisticated understanding of the challenges the state and the county face and a sense of what’s politi cally practical. He is best positioned among the Democrats to guarantee that the district will continue have an experienced representative. We recommend that Democrats nominate him May 4.

The Democratic nominee will face Henry Lewandowski Jr. of Lorain in the fall. Lewandowski is unopposed in the Republican primary.

The 56th District includes Lorain, Elyria’s 5th and 6th wards, Oberlin, Sheffield Lake, South Amherst, Amherst Township, New Russia Township, Sheffield Township, most of Elyria Township, and some of Carlisle Township and Amherst.

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