A majority of voters in Ohio Senate District One cast a ballot on Nov. 2 reelecting Steve Buehrer, a Fulton County native, as our state senator.
But we’re not getting Buehrer.
John Kasich, Ohio governor-elect, has named Buehrer to lead the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the state agency that provides for workers with work-related injuries or illnesses.
That means Buehrer will step down from his Senate seat, and the Republican Party will name a successor.
Buehrer has complained about the BWC for years, saying it charges employers too much money and prevents them from creating new jobs. Now he gets the chance to “fix” the BWC.
But the voters of Northwest Ohio selected Buehrer as their senator. They cast ballots for him. Yet, before he starts his new four-year term, it’s announced he’s leaving the post and someone else gets the Senate seat… most likely another party member.
By picking Buehrer for the BWC job, the state GOP gets a twofer. They get their man in the BWC office, and they pick the next state senator– whom no one voted for– who will serve two years before going before the voters.
Is it time to change the rules? If officials decide to leave office so soon after they’re elected, then how about having a special election to choose their replacement?
At least, that way it’s government by the people– not partisan politicians.