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Jackson Democrat seeks 93rd District seat

A Jackson County businessman wants to run as the Democratic candidate for the 93rd District House seat.

Josh Bailey expects to have his name on the ballot for the November general election after a meeting with the Democratic party chiefs of that district. The 93rd takes in parts of Lawrence and Vinton counties and all of Jackson and Gallia.

That meeting is expected to take place in a week or two, according to Craig Allen, head of Lawrence County’s Democratic party. Filing deadline for the ballot is Aug. 15.

Currently the post is held by Republican Ryan Smith, who was appointed after winning his party’s nomination in the March primary. The seat opened up in January after the resignation of John Carey, who left the Statehouse to take a job at Shawnee State University.

“I have a background and knowledge and understand the problems we are having,” Bailey said. “We need someone with strong leadership and who knows how to fix the problems. I have made a fairly good living over the years and want to give back to the community and see us prosper.”

Bailey is the second-generation of family entrepreneurs, who currently own a lube oil business and manage rental properties in Jackson. He is a graduate of Ohio University with a degree in political science and is a member of the farm bureau. This is the first run for public office for Bailey who puts jobs as the top plank of his platform.

“We have a problem with infrastructure, with the energy grid,” he said. “It is hard to attract businesses when you don’t have sewer facilities, water facilities and an energy grid.”

He also wants to make regulations business-friendly.

“Sometimes we have too much, too little and sometimes not any at all,” he said. “I want to make it easier for businesses to cooperate, to have better buying power. We need to make it easier for businesses, for the smaller ones to have the same level playing field as the biggest businesses. People don’t feel they have any chance to make money.”

Although in recent history the seat has been a Republican stronghold, Bailey says he is optimistic about his chances.

“I think I have a message that goes beyond one party or the other,” he said. “We have too much division in politics. We need to step across the aisle. I don’t want to have a party line for everybody. We have people who just don’t listen to other people. I can reach across and show that is not the case.”