Hillsboro City Council member Peter Pence has announced that he will be filing petitions today to run for the new 91st Ohio House District seat.
Currently Ohio's 86th District, after redistricting is finalized, the new 91st district will include all of Pike, Highland and Clinton counties and a portion of Ross County. Wednesday is the last day to file for the March 2012 primary.
Pence will face current 86th District Rep. Cliff Rosenberger, a Republican, in the race for the 91st District.
"I just feel like things could be done better," Pence, a Democrat, told The Highland County Press Wednesday. "I don't feel like all constituents are being represented in the best way. I feel, especially right now with the economic times, we need to take care of our working middle class."
Pence has been on Hillsboro City Council for four years, after he was appointed to fill a seat left by Tim Young, who left office early. Pence would be up for re-election in 2013. He represents Hillsboro's first ward.
"We really need to focus on the development of business. I think we have a lot of good small- to medium-sized companies that could use our help," he said.
Pence currently serves as the chairperson of council's finance committee.
In looking at his work on city council, Pence said that an issue that he is particularly proud of is when council turned down proposed legislation in March that sought to require inspections for home-sellers. He said council listened to their constituents and acted accordingly, in everyone's best interest.
"I was opposed to legislation that would have required all homeowners to have a sewer line inspection before they could sell their home. If they did not pass the inspection, the city would have been able to block the sale of the property until the corrections were made," Pence said. "I'm proud of the fact that we have listened to the constituents and did what was best for the city. Being the chairman of the finance committee the last two years, we've had a lot of challenges with our budget. I feel that we've done a good job of cutting costs and saving money and finding a way within the cuts to still maintain a level of service the citizens expect."
Pence said he thinks the experience he has working on council can be put to good use representing area residents at the state level.
"I feel that I've demonstrated that working through council and working with the auditor, we can find alternative ways to operate and save money at the same time," Pence said. "Those are things that will translate well at the state level. Personally, I believe that there are certain services that taxpayers expect to receive, and at the same time, we need to find a way to provide those services and be cost-effective while doing it."
Pence is married to Holly Davis Pence, and he has two children, Walker and Riley.
"I want people to know that I understand there are a lot of issues on the table right now," Pence said. "I know that people have opinions, and what I want to do is meet with people across the district and find out how they feel about the issues. I certainly have opinions on certain issues, but I'm more interested in what other people are thinking. This is about representing other people, not representing Pete Pence."