Alumnus runs to represent Wood County in new district

Reporter and Reporter

On the fifth floor of the Courthouse office building, Tim Brown and fellow Wood County Commissioners gather for their morning meetings.

The north wall of the room is all windows, as an elementary school hides amongst the trees in the foreground and the University rests on the horizon.

A small flip calendar sits on the meeting table in front of him, already opened to November 2012. Ohioans will go to the polls that month, with Brown as the Republican candidate for State House of Representatives’ newly-drawn 3rd District.

Appointed as a county commissioner in 1997, Brown was re-elected in 1998 and every subsequent four years after. His current term runs until 2014.

Brown’s decision to run for the Ohio House was largely a result of the state’s ongoing political game of musical chairs.

The 2010 census produced a complete congressional redistricting, with Wood County moving from the 6th District to the 3rd. The county’s incumbent Rep. Randy Gardner is not seeking re-election. What was previously the 3rd District is now in eastern Ohio’s Wayne County as the state’s 1st District, where incumbent Ron Amstutz will run for re-election this November.

Confused? Brown wasn’t.

Seeing the open gap, Brown won the Republican primary for the seat this past March. He is set to face Democrat Kelly Wicks, owner of the city’s Grounds for Thought, and Libertarian Nathan Eberly in the general election.

As a county commissioner, Brown assists with the Wood County budget. From the Department of Landfills to the County Dog Shelter, he helps appropriate funds for various departments which work directly for the Board of Commissioners.

“No two days are the same,” he said.

A portrait of Abraham Lincoln displays prominently in his office tucked deep into the building’s fifth floor. Pictures of former presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan line the front of his desk, with a coffee mug behind reading “U.S. Congress.”

As voters are looking at different candidates’ histories, Brown said his track record of job creation and not raising taxes will resonate with Wood County residents. While budgeting resources and finances for the county, he said the commissioners did what families are doing: tightening belts and cutting back.

“Government shouldn’t be taking more in a time like this,” he said. “You can grow [the economy] without raising taxes.”

Although Wood County was forced to restructure staff throughout the county, Brown maintains that cost-saving measures such as more efficient energy resources have aided in not having to cut major programs.

Brown said his campaign platform also deals with providing opportunities for students, such as internships or job training programs.

“The fact that [education] was there for me … I want that for other students,” he said. “The students that are investing in their future need a job when they graduate.”

While holding a degree in business, the 1986 University graduate is quick to provide a few history lessons. A tour through the county courthouse may find his guest informed of the building’s intricate architectural design and solar roofing, or perhaps the county’s role in the War of 1812.

If you’re lucky, he may just show you the two Peregrine Falcons nested in the courthouse clock tower.

While his ornithology credentials are unlikely to benefit him in Columbus, Brown said Wood County’s bipartisanship should carry to the Ohio Statehouse.

“We’ve got a reputation [in Wood County] to not play politics,” he said.

For Brown, campaigning for the Ohio House of Representatives is exciting, but he said he still enjoys his time as a county commissioner.

“I love the job that I have,” he said.

And even if Brown loses this coming November, he’ll still have at least two more years of morning meetings in the courthouse office building, where he can glance out onto the city skyline he presides over.