by mike lesko | Reporter
With Republican Matt Lynch running for U.S. Congress, the state representative position for the 76th district will be up for grabs. The Republican primary election May 6 will feature Sarah LaTourette and write-in candidate Linda O'Brien. The winner will face Democrat Joseph Lanese in November.
LaTourette, of Bainbridge Township in Geauga County, said she is running for office because she is "most concerned about the lack of effective representation at the state level, and became concerned that no one was stepping up to offer voters in the 76th district a choice."
O'Brien, of Russell Township in Geauga County, said she entered the race after the filing deadline "to provide the citizens of the 76th district a choice with an individual who has leadership experience and that is a true conservative."
Neither LaTourette nor O'Brien has held political office. LaTourette is the daughter of former U.S. Congressman and Lake County prosecutor Steve LaTourette.
"I'm truly blessed to have a father who has taught me the value of service and fighting for your principles," she said. "Growing up, I watched him answer the call to our state and nation and do everything he could to make it a better country. He taught me everyone's opinion -- even those with whom you disagree -- is valuable and should be considered."
O'Brien, a member of the Tea Party, said it is a group of citizens "who share the values that have made America great for centuries. They are caring citizens who invest their time and talent to take a stand to hold townships, cities, counties, states and federal leaders accountable."
"My run for office is for the sole purpose of preserving the values that have made America exceptional," O'Brien said. "I will work to that end, whether I am an elected official or an individual citizen."
LaTourette said she believes the state needs "to continue to lower the tax burden, cut regulations that impede growth and cultivate a business-friendly climate that attracts quality jobs to Ohio."
"I will work with local and county elected officials as a partner and advocate to ensure that the needs of the 76th district are met and the local elected officials are empowered to attract quality employers and grow local businesses," LaTourette said.
O'Brien said business owners today "are struggling to grow their businesses due to being burdened with overhead caused by Obamacare, burdensome taxes and government overreach. Government needs to stop layering on regulations and mandated requirements that hinder growth and success.
"I will fight to defund Obamacare and vote 'no' on any tax increase," O'Brien said. "Across the state, there is a need for jobs to revitalize our economy. I have decades of success growing private-sector businesses, always with the same goal of helping people become more productive and the business more profitable which leads to more jobs."
LaTourette, who began working at Adoption Network Cleveland in 2012, said her role is to directly support the executive director and directors.
"Our organization offers support and services for anyone touched by adoption, and we also offer a lot of programming for the foster youth in Cuyahoga County," LaTourette said. "I am fortunate to work with a group of people that truly 'walks the walk' when it comes to giving back to our community."
O'Brien, an independent corporate consultant for more than two decades, said she has worked in both the private sector and for nonprofits.
"I have contributed in almost all industries from small privately-held family businesses to Fortune 100 businesses as well as government agencies," O'Brien said.
"That broad base of experience has exposed me to all aspects of issues where I've provided guidance to improve the culture through more effective and efficient teams that directly improve product creation, customer service, leadership and the bottom line.
"Our state leaders would benefit from learning to function as a business with accountability, and I will work to that end."
The 76th district includes Aurora, Bainbridge Township, Russell Township, South Russell, and parts of Hunting Valley and Chardon.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187