DAYTON—Residents of Dayton area’s 43rd Ohio House District have an easy choice in the race for state representative, said leaders from OHROC and the Ohio Republican Party during a press conference Monday morning in Dayton.
The 43rd District is currently represented by Rep. Jeff Rezabek (R-Clayton), who has owned a law practice for more than 12 years and specializes in criminal defense law, juvenile law and probate and civil matters.
During his first term, Rezabek has an accomplished record, including sponsoring legislation that expands access to naloxone, a drug that can reverse opioid-induced overdoses. That legislation, House Bill 4, directly addresses Ohio’s prescription drug abuse epidemic, which has had tragic consequences on thousands of families in all corners of the state.
He has also sponsored House Bill 410, legislation that helps school districts address truancy, encourages earlier intervention if a student is habitually missing school and works to avoid criminalization that occurs as a result of truancy.
“In the two years that I have had the privilege of working with Jeff Rezabek in the Ohio House, I have been impressed by his willingness to tackle tough issues head-on and the compassion he shows for the people he serves,” Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger said. “In Jeff Rezabek, families in the 43rd District have a true public servant and tireless advocate. That makes November’s election so critically important, because his challenger simply does not pass the same muster.”
During the press conference, Speaker Rosenberger called into question some policy positions and past remarks by Rep. Rezabek’s Democrat challenger, David Sparks. An enthusiastic Bernie Sanders supporter, Sparks has proposed policies that would have devastating effects on Ohio and its economy, including giving government more control over individuals’ healthcare decisions, banning hydraulic fracturing that has helped spur Ohio’s oil and natural gas boom, and using taxpayer dollars to create a high-speed rail system throughout the state.
Also concerning are comments that Sparks has made among several hundred videos that he has posted on YouTube, including sexually explicit remarks about women and references to drug use. A five-minute montage played during the press conference included clips from several of the videos, all of which were publicly published by Sparks himself.
Speaker Rosenberger also called on House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn to denounce David Sparks’ candidacy and his actions and comments. Rosenberger emphasized Strahorn’s integrity and the strong leadership abilities he has displayed as Minority Leader and stressed that he does not believe Strahorn would consider Sparks an exemplary member of the Democratic caucus.
“Anyone who watches these videos would agree that David Sparks is not the kind of person that Ohioans deserve to represent them in the Statehouse,” Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges said. “The childish nature of these remarks are disturbing and do not illustrate the kind of character of a qualified public servant. Frankly, the people of Preble and Montgomery counties deserve better.”