Some of the residents in Ohio's five-county 30th Senate District are learning the things about Lou Gentile that people who live in Steubenville and Jefferson County have known for a while - that he is a hard-working elected official who is always looking out for the interests of his constituents.
That why voters should choose to elect Gentile to a full term as a state senator when they head to the polls on Tuesday.
Gentile, who had served as a member of the state House of Representative since he was elected in 2010, was appointed to his current position last December to replace Jason Wilson, who resigned to become the director of the Governor's Office of Appalachia.
Since then, the 33-year-old Steubenville Democrat has demonstrated an ability to work on a bi-partisan level in Columbus, which is important to our area.
He has been a proponent of using our natural resources in a responsible manner, and has encouraged out-of-state industries to hire local building and trades workers. Gentile also has worked to make sure money generated by the growing oil and gas industry will help our local economy. That means a lot, when you consider that the 30th District includes Jefferson, Harrison, Belmont, Columbiana and Tuscarawas counties, a portion of the state that, by all indications, is rich in natural gas and oil.
Gentile and his opponent, 42-year-old Republican Shane Thompson of St. Clairsville, agree that Gov. John Kasich's proposed severance tax, which would in essence take money generated by the oil and gas industry in our area and redistribute it across Ohio's 88 counties, is a bad idea. There are differences, however, in their views of state government and what would work best for Eastern Ohio.
That said, Gentile has demonstrated time and again that he is willing to stand up for the residents of his district, and we say voters should allow him to continue to serve.