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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chronicle Telegram: Elect Dan Ramos in 56th state district

It’s easy to imagine a voter sizing up the candidates on the ballot in the 56th state House District and asking himself: “Where’s Joe Koziura’s name?”

After all, the name has been there over and over again. Koziura has been in the state House for an incredible 11 two-year terms, including the last four in a row.
Such longevity is increasingly rare among state legislators because of term limits, which restrict them to a maximum eight consecutive years in office.

Koziura can’t run again for the House — he’s runnin
g for Lorain County commissioner instead — and voters in the district will have to choose between two

Neither Henry “Skip” Lewandowski Jr., 50, the Republican candidate, nor Dan Ramos, 29, the Democrat, has run for office before, but their race nonetheless
pits an outsider against an insider.

Lewandowski, an associate professor in the business division at Baldwin Wallace College, is trained in engineering and has worked in academia and business, including for companies that supply the military and the automotive industry. He held administrative positions at Lorain County Community College from 1998 to 2005.

Until Ramos became a candidate, he was a senior policy analyst to House Speaker Armond Budish, D-Beachwood.

Before that, he worked as a policy aide to then Minority Leader Joyce Beatty, D-Columbus, and a legislative aide to Koziura, D-Lorain.

Lewandowski is older and has a more varied resume, which he contends give him an advantage on Ramos in terms of life experience.

Maybe so, but the key experience here is legislative experience, especially with the state facing a huge budget deficit.

Ramos has been working in the General Assembly since before his graduation from The Ohio State University in 2003.

He knows the drill and the leaders who will conduct it.

Beyond that, Ramos seems to us mature beyond his years.

He is knowledgeable and driven but soft-spoken and realistic. In terms of personality, he is a sort of anti-Koziura, neither brash nor profane like his mentor.

We believe he is better-prepared than Lewandowski to replace Koziura, and we recommend that voters in the district elect him.

The district includes Lorain, the 5th and 6th wards in Elyria, Oberlin, Sheffield Lake, South Amherst, a slice of Amherst and the townships of Amherst, New Russia and Sheffield. Most of Elyria Township and a small portion of Carlisle Township are also in the district.

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