Schweitzer challenges Brenner, promising ‘honest representation’
Craig Schweitzer is hoping to replace “politicking” with community values, as he vies for the 67th Ohio House District.
“I think it’s imperative that we have a representative that reflects our community,” said Schweitzer. “I’m that guy.”
As a veteran and businessman, Schweitzer said that he has spent his life serving others. Now, he wants to help Ohio serve small, as well as large, businesses.
Schweitzer is running against incumbent Andrew Brenner.
Like Brenner, Schweitzer has advocated for less government regulation to help fulfill those plans. Yet Schweitzer criticized one of the bills Brenner sponsored as one that allows banks to raise interest rates.
“As a business owner, that’s not business friendly,” said Schweitzer.
Throughout 17 years of establishing and owning his family business, Mr. Mulch, Inc., Schweitzer said he has experience knowing what it takes to support a family and provide paychecks and benefits to hundreds of employees.
“It’s not been easy and the state of Ohio has not been much help,” he said. “Reducing the
stifling effects of City Hall government and bureaucrats on family businesses, like mine, is an objective for me to accomplish in the Ohio legislature.”
Schweitzer said he would focus on making the U.S. 36/Ohio 37 and Interstate 71 interchange safer and more efficient.
He wants to streamline taxes, fees and bureaucracies, that he said takes energy and capital away from creating and maintaining high-paying jobs.
He also wants to reform educational funding and criticized the school voucher bill, which Brenner supported before the legislation was pulled. The bill proposed redirecting public schools state funding toward tuition costs for students opting to enroll in private schools.
“When people go to bat for levies, either for or against, the expectation is that the money is going to stay in the school district,” said Schweitzer.
He said the bill’s lifespan was a “prime example” of poor community representation.
Schweitzer also questioned the successes of the budget bill Brenner supported. The bill balanced the budget in part by cutting funds to local government entities.
While Brenner said those cuts entice those entities to find ways to run more efficiently, Schweitzer said it would result in local governments raising taxes instead of the state government.
“They said they did it without raising taxes, which is a farce,” he said.
Trustworthiness is a major component of Schweitzer’s campaign, in which he separates himself from the idea of a “career politician.”
“I’m not doing this because I need this job. I’m doing this because I want to serve,” he said. “We need someone who understands they’re there to serve others, not their own self interests.”
Schweitzer addressed the IRS tax liens filed against Prestige Music Studies, for which Brenner serves as vice president. Brenner said that while his wife is the primary operator of the business, he is helping her resolve those issues.
Schweitzer has had business liens filed against him, which he has since resolved.
During his seven-year service in the National Guard, Schweitzer earned a degree in Criminology and studied City and Regional Planning at The Ohio State University. He began Mr. Mulch with his wife in 1995.
After his defeat against Brenner in the March 2010 primary, Schweitzer became involved with the local Republican Party. He was elected to serve on the executive committee and appointed as communications chair.
Schweitzer and his wife Linda have three children who attend Olentangy Local Schools.