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Facts point to Olivito

To the editor:

For someone who claims to be a former journalist, the Republican running for state rep in Ohio’s 96th District spends a lot of time (and money) spreading fake news. Ron Ferguson has been spreading lies about Democratic candidate Rich Olivito in every medium. The lies range from using the courts to strip people of their rights to advocating for defunding the police. If Ferguson excels in anything, it’s in his ability to spin tall tales.

Let’s look at the facts. Olivito has a history of fighting for people and upholding their rights. As an attorney, he has represented individuals in federal courts all across Ohio. In high courts from Cleveland to Akron to Youngstown to Columbus, he has successfully litigated the defense of American citizens and their civil rights and constitutional guarantees. Olivito has won four constitutional claims at the highest federal level possible, in the 6th District Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. Does that sound like someone who will strip individuals of their rights, as his opponent claims? Sounds like more fake news to me. Rich has worked hard to make sure those sacred rights were affirmed and he’s one of the very few lawyers in the 96th district that has this kind of federal civil rights experience.

Then there’s the biggest piece of fake news of them all; Ferguson’s false claim that Rich Olivito wants to defund the police. The hypocrisy runs deep with this one. Did you know that Ferguson was one of the top opponents of Issue 23 in 2015? Issue 23 appeared on the November ballot that year as the Safety Wage Tax, a measure designed to fund Steubenville’s Police and Fire Departments, which were badly in need of financial resources to be able to serve and protect us. Ferguson, through his extremist political group known as Americans for Prosperity, led the fight to defeat Issue 23 and even went so far as to celebrate with an interview in which he claimed he wanted to sit down with the safety forces after he succeeded in stripping away their needed funding. That reminds me of the fox wanting to have a meeting with the hens after he’s stolen all their eggs.

The truth is Olivito has never advocated to defund the police. In fact, he has been open about his support for constitutional policing and has promised to work to defend all local safety forces and the resources they need. We don’t need a candidate who conducts a campaign of hypocrisy. What we need is Richard Olivito to represent us in Columbus.

Hank Segle

Wintersville

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