By: Geauga Resident
Everyday Geauga County residents can all see some of themselves in former Republican candidate for Ohio’s 76th House district Frank Hall. Although he didn’t win and likely never had a realistic shot of unseating incumbent Dianne Grendell, it is worth noting that his campaign didn’t fail. Yes, it did not succeed at its intended goal of electing the Chardon teacher and football coach to the General Assembly, but the conversations that needed to be had came to the light of day because of his primary challenge. He ran on the idea that former President and conservative trailblazer Ronald Reagan promoted- a citizen’s politician, someone who legislates based solely on the needs of his constituents. Frank Hall has had zero elected experience, but through his work with the Coach Hall and Paul Demsar Foundations he was able to immerse himself in the realm of local politics in Geauga County.
Government needs fresh faces as much as they can get them. If these establishment figures like Dianne Grendell recognize that, hopefully they will be more cognizant of the needs of those who placed her where she is. Luckily for her, however, she has been able to feed off of her last name, marriage, and long tenure in the Ohio judicial system. I am sure she has been the sort of conservative judge that Ohioans in this county want and deserve, but that does not mean that she should continue to be helped along to powerful positions. Unfortunately for the constituents that make up Ohio’s 76th, we did not get to choose or current representative- local republican government workers did.
Sarah LaTourette, our former house representative, was moved by Governor DeWine to executive director of Ohio Family and Children First in a move that was intended to allow her to spend more time with her children. This is unquestionably an honorable move by her. Not only did LaTourette exit politics and enter a useful profession, but she placed her family over her work- very commendable. However, because of this resignation, someone had to be promoted. That person was originally going to be South Russell Councilman and County Commissioner candidate Dennis Galicki. Grendell was not among the candidates who requested the position either, yet somehow she ended up being the one sworn in by Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder. What gives? She served this district from 1993-2000 and then was an appellate judge- in other words she has made a great deal of money off of the taxpayer for the last thirty years.
All of this leads to Frank Hall entering as a candidate to challenge Dianne Grendell, the status quo, and become a representative we could all be proud of. One of the main legislative issues he ran on was returning more tax dollars from Columbus to the localities in the 76th district, something Grendell was not as open to saying. Last year when he filed, it was because he realized that his work after the Chardon shooting made him a great candidate to replace the establishment Republican who was fine with just being present and getting by. Hall would have been a voice of reason and someone who stood up for each and every one of his constituents in Columbus because he understands that he serves the people that elect him. He received 44% of the vote in the primary. That’s a nice chunk of voters when you take into account that he was running against a name as powerful as Grendell who could do things like run nasty, unfair attack ads against him on television.