DJ Swearingen should be held publicly accountable for his votes and his cowardice. He doesn’t have the political courage to tell area residents how he has voted for no permit, no training, no background checks for sensible and safe gun ownership; voted to reduce training to 12 hours for armed school employees including teachers; co-sponsored law to allow children – in particular girls – who play sports to have forced internal and external genital inspections without their parents consent; co-sponsored law to allow for more vaccine mandate exemptions for students/employees to name a few. Unfortunately, DJ won’t provide his own case to Erie Countians as he seeks re-election to the State House – 89th District. Jim Obergefell, Democratic candidate, fundamentally opposes all of this legislation.
To check DJ Swearingen’s voting record on all legislation, please visit here: VOTE SMART – Facts Matter
To check out language for specific legislation, please visit each bill below:
- HB 22 – Co-sponsor – Authorizes the General Assembly to Repeal the Governor’s Emergency Declarations
- HB 151 – Co-sponsor – Authorizes Forced Internal and External Genital Inspections for Children Playing Sports w/out Parents Consent
- HB 218 – Co-sponsor – Establishes Comprehensive Vaccine Mandate Exemptions for Employees and Students
- HB 227 – Co-sponsor – Expands Concealed Carry Laws
- HB 244 – Co-sponsor – Prohibits COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements in State Public Schools and Universities
- SB 27 – Requires Either a Funeral or Cremation of Abortion Remains
- SB 52 – Prohibits Wind and Solar Companies from Applying to Build Projects
- SB 175 – Expands ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws
- SB 311 – Prohibits the Department of Health from Issuing Certain Mandatory Quarantine Orders
Tom Jackson | 7.26.2022
HURON — State Rep. D.J. Swearingen said Tuesday he won’t debate his Democratic opponent, Jim Obergefell, this fall, citing criticism in the local press.
“I will not be participating this cycle,” Swearingen said Tuesday in a text message.
Swearingen, R-Huron, equated criticism to unfairness.
“While I value the reporters’ work at the Register, I won’t be participating in a debate facilitated by the Register editorial board because of the obvious bias shown over the last several years,” Swearingen said.
The Register had been critical of the Republican Party with regards to redistricting, public health policy and education issues.
Swearingen previously participated in a 2020 Register debate against his Democratic challenger in that race, Alexis Miller.
His decision this time around is disappointing, according to the Register’s executive editor, Matt Westerhold, who said the debate format gives every candidate the opportunity to be heard.
“Elected representatives often are subject to criticism,” Westerhold said. “It seems that’s part of the job. We hope Swearingen reconsiders.”
Obergefell, a Sandusky resident, previously said he hoped there could be a debate. He repeated his willingness Tuesday.
“It’s shameful that the incumbent won’t debate the issues that matter to Ohio. I welcome the opportunity to share my values and priorities in a debate, allowing the people of this district to understand the choice they have on Nov. 8,” Obergefell said. “Ohioans deserve candidates who participate in the election process, and I’m happy to debate should the incumbent change his mind.”
Obergefell said he has not been invited so far to any other debates.
Swearingen and Obergefell are facing off in November in the redrawn 89th House District, which consists of western and central Erie County, including Sandusky and Perkins Township; eastern Ottawa County, including Port Clinton; and most of Huron County, excluding Norwalk and northeast Huron County, which remains in Rep. Dick Stein’s, R-Norwalk, district.
Swearingen, 35, an attorney, was appointed to the District 89 seat in 2019 after former state Rep. Steve Arndt, R-Port Clinton, retired before finishing his term. Swearingen won a full two-year term in 2020, defeating Miller.
Obergefell, 56, is a Sandusky native and graduated from Sandusky High School in 1984. He lived for many years in Cincinnati before returning to Erie County. He is nationally known as the plaintiff in the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
Swearingen said he’s not concerned about the fact that his opponent is a nationally known political figure.