Enquirer Voter Guide

State of Ohio Auditor

Read about State Auditor candidates here.

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    Robert C. Coogan

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    Keith Faber

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    Zack Space

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Biographical Information

Why are you running?

What makes you the best candidate?

What specific services are you willing to cut?

What fees or taxes are you willing to raise in order to keep or expand government services?

Campaign Phone (513) 746-9849
Age 67
City/town Liberty Township, Butler County
Education/Degrees Princeton University – 1969 to 1973 – Bachelor’s degree; Xavier University – 1973 to 1978 – Master of Business Administration; CPA-Ohio; Member-Ohio Society of CPAs; Certified Internal Auditor (inactive)-Institute of Internal Auditors
Community Involvement Corpus Christi Athletic Association – 1982 to 2002 – coach (soccer, softball), soccer referee and coordinator, Treasurer (two years); Roger Bacon H.S. – 2006 to 2007 – Strategic Planning Committee; Taft High School – participated in Cincinnati Bell’s Tutoring program; Matthew 25 Ministries - 2018
Endorsements None
Campaign Message I am the only Auditor of State candidate with auditor experience. I will bring independence, experience and objectivity to the Auditor’s office.
I am running for Auditor of State because Ohio voters and taxpayers should not have to tolerate the obvious partisan back and forth between the major parties. Influence from outside factors on both the Republican and Democrat sides are at play, impairing their independence and objectivity. There is too much influence from special interests in State Government, including in the Auditor of State’s office. Both the Republicans and Democrats are influenced by large donors and outside pressures. An example is the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow case. As long ago as the 2014 City Club of Cleveland’s debate among the Auditor of State candidates, ECOT was a major issue. The obvious biases from special interests and outside influences are still plaguing State Government in 2018. My independence and objectivity will be important as current issues come to the forefront, such as the rollout of medical marijuana, and as new issues arise.

I am the only Auditor of State candidate with professional Accounting/Auditing experience as a CPA and internal auditor. In my professional career I have experience in managing a large number of employees, geographically dispersed locations, risk assessment, resource allocation, open communications, and negotiation skills. This executive management experience, coupled with my CPA and auditing credentials, demonstrate my qualifications for the job.

I am not a career politician. I will not use the office of Auditor as a stepping-stone to other offices such as Governor, Senator, U.S. Representative or Ohio Legislator. I will be 100% focused on the Auditor job for 100% of my time in office.

I bring a career of accountant/auditor experience, integrity, independence and objectivity to the Auditor’s office. Neither major party can bring this experience and independence. They are too involved for too long with major influences to be able to claim true independence or objectivity.
I would not be responsible for cutting specific services; rather, I would be responsible for saving taxpayer dollars across all public entities via financial and performance audits.

My non-partisan approach as the Auditor of State will bring independence and objectivity to the analysis of risks to Ohio taxpayer dollars and the prioritization of audit resources. Decisions regarding entities/areas to audit will be free of conflicts of interest.

Financial Audits – I will focus resources on the entities that are most in need of help from the expertise of the audit staff. I will ensure that the most cost effective and efficient use is being made of Independent Auditor firms in the financial audit process.

Performance Audits – I will continue the practice of performance audit engagements. I will continuously evaluate the areas of focus for these audits in order provide the most operational improvement savings for taxpayers.
I am not willing to raise fees or taxes in order to keep or expand government services.
Campaign Phone (614) 456-2044
Age 53
City/town Celina, OH
Education/Degrees Oakland University (BA); Ohio State University (JD)
Community Involvement Celina Rotary Grand Lake Rotary Mercer County Republican Party several Chambers of Commerce and Farm Bureaus Mercer County Right to Life Celina Moose Lodge Celina Eagles Lodge Mercer County and Ohio Right to Life National Rifle Association Mercer County Sportsman Previously two terms on the Mercer/Auglaize YMCA Board of Directors.
Endorsements Ohioans For Concealed Carry Ohio Value Voters International Brotherhood of Teamsters Ohio Republican Party Buckeye Firearms National Rifle Association Ohio Gun Collectors
Campaign Message I have been in State Government - I know how it works. State Government is much different that Congress or the private sector. My first hand experience with administrative agencies has shown me how they operate. I won’t need to get up to speed on where the opportunities are to make government work better for taxpayers. My experience and knowledge of State Government coupled with my personal professional background as a practicing lawyer handling complex financial matters make me uniquely qualified to hit the ground running on day one. My ability to do the job on day one was one of the key factors cited by the Ohio Association of CPA’s and the last four Auditors of State when they each endorsed me in the race. When I am Auditor, I will use my knowledge of State Government and the power of performance audits to aggressively root our waste, fraud, and abuse in our state agencies and return money to the pockets of taxpayers. As Auditor, I will use every tool to restore trust in Ohio government by ensuring your tax dollars are spent responsibly and by catching those involved in government who are lying, cheating or stealing.
My entire legislative career has focused on making state government more efficient, effective, and transparent. I was a part of the Senate leadership that worked with Governor Kasich to cut taxes by almost $5 billion. I drafted the Common Sense Initiative that has dramatically reduced new regulations. I worked on the budgets that took us from an $8 billion deficit to a $2 billion surplus and that has taken our rainy day fund from $0.89 to $2.7 Billion. Ohio is doing better but better is still not good enough.

I’m running for Auditor now because it is the one office responsible for oversight in state government and protecting the taxpayers. An Auditor that wants to see government work quicker, better, and cheaper for the taxpayers has tremendous power to whip government into shape. That is what I plan to do.
I have served in state government. I know how it works and how it can work better. My legislative record is clear. I have been steadfast in my commitment to protecting taxpayers from wasteful government spending. I fought to make state government more transparent, passing a nationally recognized public records bill that ensured that citizens had access to local government records. When the legislature learned of abuses by charter schools, I worked to pass the strictest charter school accountability law in the nation.

As Auditor, I will be committed to finding ways to make state government operate more efficiently and to partner with local government partners so that government at every level is serving the best interests of Ohioans.
The Auditor doesn’t seek to cut services. That’s a decision for the legislature. As Auditor, I’ll seek to work with government agencies and the legislature to identify waste, inefficiencies and ineffective programs in order to save taxpayer dollars.
I do not believe we need to raise fees or taxes in order to keep or expand government services. As Auditor, it is my goal to make our government more efficient and effective. If we can make state government just 1% more efficient, we will save $1.4 billion. That's money that the legislature can use to increase education funding, use to combat the opioid epidemic, or return to local governments.

Over the past 8 years in Ohio we have successfully cut almost $5 billion in taxes for Ohio's families while balancing our budgets, increasing our rainy day fund by over $2 billion, and creating an environment that has created over 500,000 new private sector jobs. When I was President of the Senate, we successfully cut taxes while increasing funding for education by over $1 billion and cutting the cost of college by 12%. We do not have to choose between higher taxes or a government that works for everyone -we can have both if we have efficient government. That's what I'll fight for as Auditor.
Age 58
City/town Dover, Ohio
Education/Degrees Kenyon College, B.A. Political Science; Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, J.D.
Community Involvement Practicing attorney, private practice and public defense, 1986-2006; Law Director, City of Dover, OH, 2001-2006; United States Congressman, Ohio's 18th District, 2007-2011
Endorsements U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, Ohio AFL-CIO, Ohio Education Association, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, National Association of Social Workers
Ohio’s political system has become corrupted by the influence of money and by political self-interest. Pay-for-play deals rule the General Assembly and incumbent politicians gerrymander their seats to diminish political competition. These sinister actions cause ordinary Ohioans to lose faith in their government.

The Auditor of State can do something to reverse these trends. I intend to shine a light on the corrupting influence of money in politics by calling out politicians who put wealthy special interests above their constituents. The Auditor also sits on the Redistricting Commission, and in 2021 will help redraw legislative maps. I have pledged to use my position, if elected, to end partisan gerrymandering by creating as many competitive districts as possible.

I’m passionate about using this office to restore political justice to Ohio, so that the system works for everyone regardless of their ZIP code or how much money sits in their bank account.
I intend to shake up Ohio’s government by bringing much-needed integrity, humility, and fairness to public service. Too many incumbent politicians live only for the next campaign contribution or chance at self-promotion. I am not controlled by special interests or donors. As Auditor of State, I will be striving to make Ohio’s political system more just, and to have honest conversations about how our government really works and how it can be improved.

I also intend to use the broad powers of the Auditor’s office in dynamic and unprecedented ways. The Auditor has the authority to conduct Performance Audits, which are holistic reviews of state agencies or departments. A Performance Audit of the Department of Corrections, for instance, could address inmate treatment, the use of private prisons, and racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Past reviews have been very narrow in scope and have left little lasting impacts.
If you need any help as a candidate, please email Carl Weiser at