Zack Space (D-Dover), a former U.S. Representative of Ohio’s 18th Congressional District, is asking for voters to elect him as the next Ohio Auditor of State.
Space said he wants to be Ohio’s watchdog because he is passionate about the issues of gerrymandering and the influence of money in politics.
“It’s the heart of what is wrong in Columbus,” he told The Gazette in a phone interview Monday while driving to Youngstown to campaign. “It’s created a state government that is dysfunctional.”
Ohio’s Constitution created the auditor of state’s office, an independent office ensuring public officials act in the best interests of all Ohioans.
Space was raised in Dover and attended The Ohio State University, where he earned a law degree. Upon graduation from OSU, he returned to Dover to practice law. He served as a public defender and as Dover’s city law director before being elected a representative of Ohio’s 18th Congressional District, where he served from 2007 to 2011.
After serving in Congress, Space joined the law firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease in Columbus; where he worked with local governments, charitable organizations, and the private sector promoting economic development.
Space said he has quit the firm since becoming a candidate because he was “working hard to get elected.” Space is the only candidate on the Democratic primary ticket, but will face Keith Faber (R-Celina) in the general election in November.
According to Space’s website, Zack Space for Auditor, “Ohio’s legislative districts are some of the most polarized and non-competitive in the country. … While a convenient tool to advance political careers and exercise political dominance, these districts have served to both disenfranchise and divide us.”
Space said the deck is stacked on the districts, and he wants to lead redistricting reform that eliminates gerrymandering.
“It violates what I believe to be fundamental principles,” he said. “It won’t satisfactorily be addressed until we fix the process through redistricting reform to get the influence of money out of the creation of public policies.”
Space said as things stand today, it gives voters a reason for not believing politicians.
“I want to restore faith in the Democratic process,” he said.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.