Current state Rep. Craig Newbold would never be called a charismatic leader, but we believed he was an effective legislator.
Even though he appeared to be a reluctant candidate when he first ran for the job two years ago, he seemed to have some level of success at the position.
We're disturbed, however, at Newbold allowing campaign ads to be run on his behalf claiming that his opponent, Democrat Nick Barborak, had failed to pay taxes, when in fact, Newbold had also paid taxes late. And while Barborak's law firm had made a $200 unemployment payment and a $400 state payroll withdrawal payment late, Newbold was a month late paying $9,753 second-half property taxes this year. Newbold's excuse? A computer which was scheduled to make the payment had malfunctioned at the time - not a very good explanation for a man who made his living in the technology field.
More troubling is the issue of whether Newbold's for-profit business benefited from federal stimulus money awarded to his non-profit foundation to start a loan program to help small businesses. One of the loans handed out by Newbold in 2010 was for $150,000 to a former employee who then hired one of Newbold's companies to perform $18,391 worth of website work.
Although the transaction may be legal, and we take Newbold at his word when he says he did not personally benefit from the transaction because he takes no salary from his for-profit businesses, the scenario certainly created a possible conflict of interest that could have easily been avoided.
Elected officials should be above reproach when it comes to matters of this sort, and to allow himself to become entangled in anything that seems evenly remotely improper displays questionable judgment on his part.
Because of this, and because he seems unable to adequately defend himself against these allegations, the Morning Journal is endorsing Nick Barborak for state representative. Barborak appears to be bright and capable of doing the job and has expressed a willingness to work in a bipartisan manner for the good of Ohio and the county.