The biggest issue in the Ohio Valley was simple for people to answer. They said they have a problem with the current Ohio administration because it seems they've completely forgotten about everyone in this area, and it needs to end.
"Ohio's the microcosm of the nation, but the Ohio Valley's really the microcosm of Ohio," said former Harrison County Democratic Party Chair Sherri VanTassell. "So, I hope they remember that."
In 420 days Ohio will be voting to replace Governor John Kasich, and the Democratic Party kicked off this political season with the first Primary Debate at Martins Ferry High School, Tuesday evening. Ohio Representative Jack Cera said he believes this is an important step toward making positive changes for the people of the Ohio Valley.
"Not just our party, but others have not paid attention to us politically," Cera said. "Having them here only benefits us because I believe one of them will win and we'll have them back and hold their feet to the fire to make sure they help us in the future."
Candidates fielded questions concerning the Buckeye State, but a poll during the debate showed the big topics of concern were jobs and economy issues. Locally they're worried about keeping young people from leaving this area to improve the local economy.
"You will no longer be forgotten or a second thought," said former representative Betty Sutton.
"You give people the opportunity to develop their ideas, and they'll stay in this state if you incentivize it," Senator Joe Schiavoni said. "That's the way you keep young people here."
"What we don't have is a relentless advocate who's going to make sure these jobs come to Ohio." former representative Connie Pillich.
"Local communities will have local control to create local jobs for the future of their areas," Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said.
A few people from our area attended the primary debate without favoring any of the four candidates, but after hearing from everyone their opinions changed.
"I thought they were pretty similar," said local construction worker Ryan Omats. "I think Joe Schiavoni kind of separated himself because he seemed like he actually answered questions."
"Senator Schiavoni I think has the ability to pull the party together, and that's what we need right now. Kind of the proof is in the pudding," VanTassell said.
Omats continued to say none of the candidates really discussed his biggest concern, which was giving oil and gas jobs to local people that need them. He did acknowledge though it is still very early in the primary season.