3rd Rail Legislative Candidate Profile: Shane Wilkin for Ohio House District 91
1) Tell us about yourself?
I am married to my wife Kristy, and the proud father of 2 girls, Piper 8 and Parker 7. Born and raised in Lynchburg, I am a graduate of Lynchburg-Clay. I have experience in my family’s farm implement dealership, heavy equipment operator, real estate and real estate development. From there, it was by serving on some local community boards that I was lead to the Commissioner’s office, where I was first elected in 2008.
2) Why did you decide to run for the Ohio House of Representatives?
As a Highland County Commissioner, I have seen first-hand the benefit for individuals with local government experience and knowledge at the Statehouse. While I maintain my private sector small business perspective, knowing the internal workings of local government is crucial to effectively bringing positive change for our district. I want to address fiscal issues going on at the state level. The budget may look good from Columbus, but not for those of us living and funding services for counties throughout the 91st district. A state budget balanced on the back of local governments is not sustainable.
Moreover, collaborating with elected officials and department heads as a county commissioner is a skill that I have developed and would serve me well as a state legislator, if I am fortunate enough to serve the people of the 91st district.
3) What are the key issues voters are concerned about in your district?
In the 91st district, as well as most areas in Ohio, our issues are economic development, fiscal responsibility, and of course the opioid crisis that plagues our region. I am a firm believer that a more business-friendly state with greater economic opportunities can affect all the issues mentioned above. I was fortunate to lead several economic projects in my time as a commissioner and look to put the knowledge gained to use to assist not only the 91st district but all of Ohio.
4) What will be your priorities if elected to the House?
I am a firm believer in local control on local issues. From education to economic development. I also believe in local government and have been witness to the disconnect from Columbus to our counties. As State Representative, I believe in supporting those local boards and initiatives that best enhance and enrich the lives of the people in which these decisions effect. Ohio being ranked 3rd in business regulation, just behind New York and Illinois and edging out California is unacceptable and must be addressed. I would also focus on the fiscal responsibility of the state. Again, as a Commissioner, I have had to deal with continued cuts and funding reductions. Just this week, we were informed of yet another $26,000 in reductions with regards to our court system from an already agreed upon grant.
5) How do you feel about term limits?
While on the surface term limits seem like a good idea, it can create an issue where those who are just one step away from an elected position can become entrenched and therefore essentially a policy maker with little to no accountability to the public. As they currently stand, I would be in favor of extending them at least an additional 4 years for state positions. I believe the right experience is a good thing.
6) What do you like to do in your spare time?
My spare time is spent mostly with family including boating, biking, kayaking and swimming with my wife and kids. I also enjoy getting out to hunt as much as possible in the winter.
7) What is the last book you read?
American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History by Chris Kyle
8) Why should voters elect you to the House of Representatives?
Experience. I have a blend of both private and public sector experience that allows me to be the best candidate. My private sector experience includes operating a small business, real estate and real estate development. In the public sector, I have served as a Highland County Commissioner for over 9 years. I have applied my private sector approach to the business at hand for Highland County, which means we have cut cost, reduced debt and worked with multiple department heads to collaborate so that we could operate as efficiently as possible, especially during the great recession, and live within our means.
9) Anything else you would like to add?
I am eager to serve the people of the 91st District and look forward to the opportunity to do so.