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Friday, May 7, 2010

The rise of a mentor and his apprentice - Chronicle Telegram

Dan Ramos emerged as a political force in Lorain County on Tuesday. His mentor, Joe Koziura, reemerged.

In winning the Democratic nomination for Koziura’s seat in the state House, Ramos, 28, proved himself an apt student of politics and proved Koziura an effective teacher. Not long after Ramos, of Lorain, graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in political science, he became an aide to Koziura in Columbus.

He went on to serve as an aide to House Speaker Armond Budish, D-Beachwood, and translated his experience in the Legislature and in others’ campaigns for the state House into victory Tuesday in a four-way race for the 56th District seat.

Koziura, 60, defeated five other candidates to win the Democratic nomination for county commissioner, proving himself a force outside the confines of his safefor- Democrats House district. He ran for commissioner in part because he had reached the limit on the number of terms he could serve in the House. His victory in the primary dispelled doubts that he could win any other office, doubts that grew out of his losses in 1999 and 2003 in races for mayor of Lorain.

Ramos and Koziura are an odd pair, to be sure.

“I learned a lot from Joe,” Ramos told us in April, “but we’re very different people.”

No kidding. Ramos, the son of a teacher at Lorain County Community College and former member of the Lorain school board, is reserved and academic in demeanor. Koziura, son of a steelworker, is blunt and profane.

Despite the differences in personality and age, both men benefited from living in Lorain, the county’s biggest and most Democratic community. The only candidate in the House race from outside Lorain, Richard Williams of New Russia Township, finished last. Koziura and the other commissioner candidate from Lorain, Bret Schuster, finished first and third. Vic Stewart III, the second-place finisher, is from Elyria.

Ramos and Koziura also share front-runner status as they head into the general election. Henry Lewandowski Jr. of Lorain is the Republican candidate for the House seat. He was unopposed in the primary.

Thomas Williams Jr. of Elyria defeated Maurice Corbin III of Columbia Station for the GOP nomination for commissioner. Independents Kirk Stewart of Elyria, Vic Stewart’s brother, and Mike Nunez of Penfield Township are also in the race.

If Koziura wins in November, the commissioner’s job likely will cap a long career in public office.

Ramos could hardly find a better example of political durability.

Dan Ramos wins 56th District primary - Chronicle Telegram

Dan Ramos wins 56th District primary



LORAIN — Former legislative aide Dan Ramos defeated former Lorain County Board of Elections Director Jose Candelario and two other contenders in the Democratic primary to replace state Rep. Joe Koziura, D-Lorain, who term limits will force from office at the end of the year.

Ramos, a Lorain native who once worked for Koziura in Columbus, took 3,033 votes, or 34.7 percent of the vote, compared to the 2,812 ballots cast for Candelario, or 32.2 percent of the vote, according to unofficial election results from the elections board.

Maria Zampieri Vitale, a former child support investigator and union leader, finished third in the four-way race with 1,951 votes, or 22.3 percent of the vote.

Former New Russia Township Trustee Dick Williams took 10.8 percent of the vote, with 942 ballots cast for him.

Erin Sync, left, a supporter and volunteer with the Dan Ramos (center) campaign, and supporter Cheri Campbell view figures a Mutt & Jeff's in Lorain. Ramos was "cautiously optimistic" for a turn around in those early figures, but it was not to be.  photo by Chuck Humel

“I’m very happy,” Ramos, 28, said. “We worked very hard and knocked on over 10,000 doors.”

Ramos will face Republican Henry Lewandowski Jr., who was unopposed in his party’s primary, in the November election.

“The plan’s basically the same,” Ramos said. “I’m going to keep talking to people.”

In addition to working for Koziura — who won the Democratic primary in the county commissioner race Tuesday — Ramos also served as a senior aide to Ohio House Speaker Armond Budish before leaving the job in December to run for office.

Candelario, 30, said he was disappointed by the results of the election, but he would support Ramos.

“Dan’s going to do a great job representing the district,” he said. “We’re going to hold him accountable, but also help him.”

Candelario, who spent four years at the helm of the elections board before leaving to run for office earlier this year, didn’t rule out a future run for office.

“If the opportunity to serve presents itself, I’ll be there,” he said.

Vitale, 60, said she had expected to see better results, but complimented Ramos on running a clean campaign.

“No one goes into this and quits their job at my age to run if they don’t think they’re going to win,” she said.

Dan Ramos claims Democratic primary for 56th District seat - Morning Journal

The Morning Journal, local news, sports and weather serving Lorain, Erie, Huron and western Cuyahoga counties

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LORAIN — Dan Ramos, a former legislative aide to Joe Koziura, won the Democratic primary yesterday for the 56th Ohio House District over Jose Candelario, former head of the county elections board, according to unofficial results. The Lorain County Board of Elections results showed only 220 votes separate the two candidates as Ramos received 3,033 votes to 2,812 votes for Candelario.

The current representative, Koziura, D-Lorain, was prohibited by term limits from running in the primary.

Ramos, 28, who has also served as a senior policy analyst to House Speaker Armond Budish, said he was quite pleased with the victory.

“We knocked on more than 10,000 doors,” Ramos said. “My message has been one of more job creation, better access to higher education and trying to better our area. I look forward to continuing to spread that message throughout the rest of the election season.”

Ramos said the 56th district has an abundance of positive elements.

“We have incredible infrastructure, and a great population of workers,” he said. “We have to retool our factories and bring in new industries. Wind power and solar power have been expanding and bringing new jobs to Ohio. I think we’re especially suited to succeed in those kinds of industries.Candelario said he and his supporters have thrown all their support to Ramos.

“We ran a great campaign and the best candidate won,” Candelario said. He said his plans now are to spend more time with his family.