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After Issue 2 Victory, Ohio Teachers Line Up to Run for State Office

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Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 7:34 AM

Fresh off their victory in defeating collective bargaining law Senate Bill 5, at least ten Ohio teachers have filed to run for seats in Ohio's House of Representatives on the Democratic ticket.

At a Nov. 8, 2011 watch party, AFT President Randi Weingarten told the crowd that Ohio would lead the nation, starting with the defeat of Issue 2.

Fresh off their victory in defeating collective bargaining law Senate Bill 5, at least ten Ohio teachers have filed to run for seats in Ohio's House of Representatives on the Democratic ticket.

Democratic party officials said the influx of teacher-candidates was a reaction to cuts to education funding and to Senate Bill 5, which would have sharply limited collective bargaining rights for teachers and other public employees had unions not waged a successful campaign to repeal it:

“State budget cuts and the unfair attacks in SB 5 have put educators and our children’s education directly in the crosshairs of the Republican’s anti-middle class agenda and teachers are standing up, fighting back and getting involved,” said [House Democratic Caucus Campaign Co-Chair State Rep. Debbie] Phillip. “We are very excited to have so many great teachers running for office. They are trusted and well known in their communities, which are two key components of electoral success.”

On Wednesday night, party officials were still waiting on a final count of teacher-candidates, but the candidates include at least two candidates who have served as high school government or social studies teachers: Cleveland teacher Todd LeVeck (who primarily teaches computer science) is running against Rep. Nan Baker in the 16th district. And Cleveland Heights teacher Tom Schmida is running against Rep. Kristina Roegner in the 37th district.

The 2002 Ohio Teacher of the Year, Maureen Reedy, now a "curriculum specialist" in the Upper Arlington school district, is also running for an open seat in the 24th district.

Edited to add:

On the Republican side, the only candidate identified as a teacher is Anthony Ziroli, who is running in District 56 against Rep. Dan Ramos. In a press release, the House Republicans identify Ziroli as a "former teacher."

Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly described candidate Todd LeVeck's teaching areas. LeVeck primarily teaches computer science, but also teachers social studies and language arts.

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