Ohio Secretary of State Jon Hustead toured the K. K. Tool Company in Springfield on Friday, October 27. This visit is part of his journey to become the Republican candidate for Governor next year. Hustead will face Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, U. S. Representative Jim Renacci and current Lieutenant Governor of Ohio Mary Taylor in the primary next year. All have declared their intention to seek Ohio’s highest office.
Following a tour of the facility, State Representative Kyle Koehler, whose family owns the company, spoke about the need for manufacturing in Ohio. Koehler stated in his remarks that whether it is a manufacturer or am agriculture business, “there is nothing more important than creating something in Ohi.”. Koehler told the select crowd attending the event that his family was able to bring back products previously manufactured in China by updating equipment and having a competitive pricing in place for parts manufactured by the local business.
Koehler stated that he is endorsing Hustead based on his support of school change and his ability to cut the costs associated with operating the office of Secretary of State. He noted that Hustead went to the Ohio House and requested a zero budget line for his office which was previously unheard of by lawmakers.
In his remarks, Hustead talked about growing up in a blue collar family in Michigan. He explained that he was adopted and shared his beliefs regarding the Right to Life agenda. Hustead stated that he had firsthand knowledge of the resiliency many families experience when unemployment happens and how his family always showed him that he could do anything.
Hustead noted in his remarks that families today are not as strong as they need to be and that the work ethic needs to be improved upon. He also suggested that the students of today are not as well prepared to enter the workforce. He explained that he would like to see programs in place that help people out of poverty rather than allowing them to remain in low wage jobs or on public assistance.
Regarding the working family, Hustead noted concerns for the cost of healthcare and childcare that leave some families at a disadvantage economically. He believes in a bright future for the young people of Ohio stating that there needs to be “hope and opportunity for a bright future”. He suggested that if you are Governor of a state, “ya gotta walk the talk” when it comes to programs.
As Secretary of State, Hustead explained that he reduced costs for individuals who wanted to start a business in Ohio. He has also over the past seven years worked to operate the office using only the fees brought in rather than asking for a budget line. He gave the example of saving over $100,000 annually for the office call center. He noted that he opened the service up to bid and the contract was awarded to the Cleveland Sight Center. The organization works to enable blind or low vision individuals to achieve independence. Hustead noted that the wait times on calls was reduced and services improved by awarding the contract to the Center. This innovation was recognized by a national award for creating the partnership.
Hustead hopes to be able to use his innovative style if he is successful in receiving the Republican nomination and then is successful in November against the Democratic candidate to become the next Governor of Ohio.