Miami Professor Challenges Conservative Rep

Candice Keller and Rebecca Howard have a lot in common—both Miami University graduates, both born and raised in Butler County and both passionate about helping community members.

They differ in how they plan to help Butler County residents.

Keller is satisfied with her first full term in the Ohio House and plans to keep conservative constituents happy, which means campaigning for an end to sanctuary cities in Ohio, an end to  Planned Parenthood and increased support for Second Amendment rights.

Howard is ready to rock the boat.

“We have to talk about the racism, the lies, the misinformation, the fear, and the false equivalencies that are circulating through our communities and across social media,” she said.

The 53rd District encompasses most of Butler County, including Oxford, Reily, Morgan, Trenton, Middletown and Monroe townships.

Candice Keller

Keller is a well-known Middletown resident. She is a former executive director of the Community Pregnancy Center in Middletown, one of the largest pro-life organizations in Ohio.

In 2016, Keller and her husband, Kent, placed over 1,000 signs and plan to do the same this year.

When Keller isn’t trucking and placing signs around Butler County, she is having breakfast with constituents at Bob Evans or traveling to different parishes to advocate for “right to life” and to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Rebecca Howard

Rebecca “Becky” Howard, a professor at Miami University and former business owner, has a different campaign strategy.

Without the benefit of incumbency, or the name recognition of Keller, and with Keller’s refusal to debate, Howard is working hard to keep the competition hot.

She consistently posts campaign videos on social media and on her web page, where she openly discusses her stances on a wide range of views in a straightforward kind of way. Howard is also trying to get her name out there by campaigning alongside Vanessa Enoch and Susan Vaughn, both Democrats campaigning for Ohio’s 8th Congressional District and 51st Ohio House District.

“I’m running for office because I’m fed up with politicians who are more interested in listening to their own voice in an echo chamber of agreement than listening to all of their constituents,” Howard wrote on her campaign site.

She plans to tackle child poverty and gun violence, win funding for more social support programs and advocate for a women’s right to choose.

She criticizes Keller for the latter’s criticism of efforts to remove Confederate monuments and social media attacks on young gun-control activists.

“One of the most effective programs to help with the crisis here in Butler County has been the Medicaid expansion that provides access to meaningful recovery services to addicts — we have to protect this expansion. In addition to Medicaid, there is a patchwork of programs, from civic to faith-based to non-profit, that are helping to support those struggling with addiction and their families—these are excellent supports, but we need to have a system in place that brings together these programs with law enforcement and health care professionals to provide not only rehabilitation, but also long term recovery support.”
Howard on ...
“It is absolutely crucial that we fix our broken system that disproportionately incarcerates low-income individuals and people of color for offenses that are non-violent, yet trap people in a cycle of addiction and crime that is difficult to break out of—the system we have now clearly isn’t working.”
“I care about and advocate for families and children, and believe that every child born into this world should be planned for, wanted, and given every opportunity to develop and thrive in a healthy, stable, and loving home. I also believe that it is unacceptable that the United States. has one of the highest maternal mortality rates of any developed nation. We can, and must, do better. I also believe that every woman has a constitutional right to decide, with her physician, what the best choices are for her and her family.”
“The Medicaid expansion has statistically proven to be one of the most effective programs ever implemented to improve the health of low-income individuals and families, and healthy families are what keep a community thriving. Medicare, along with Social Security, should not be allowed to become the scapegoat for horrendous tax policies that have ballooned the federal deficit while further enriching those at the top, but doing little for everyone else.”
Has said that prevention is the key to end the opioid epidemic. Believes the best source of prevention is parents, who she says can reduce their child’s likelihood to use by 50 percent by simply talking to them about the dangers of drug use. Serves on the Speaker’s Task Force on Heroin, Opioids, Prevention, Education, and Safety.
Keller on ...
... opioids
... Issue 1
... reproductive rights
... health care
“A terrible issue. I’m voting no,” Keller wrote on Facebook in response to a request for her stance.
“I believe human life begins at conception and should only end at natural death. I stand firmly against federal funding for abortion services, and will work to remove that funding. I have worked tirelessly throughout my career for the protection of the unborn.” Wants Roe v. Wade to be overturned by the Supreme Court.
Wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act.