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Published: Friday, 7/16/2004

Goulding enters state rep race

Toledo lawyer Mike Goulding announced yesterday that he is entering the race for state representative in the district that includes East Toledo and parts of South Toledo, replacing fellow Republican Steve Goldman, who withdrew from the race.

Mr. Goulding, who will challenge incumbent Democrat Peter Ujvagi in the November election, wasted no time in criticizing his opponent for working to block the county's purchase of new touch-screen voting equipment.

Mr. Ujvagi, with state Sen. Teresa Fedor, also a Democrat, lobbied the county board of elections to not purchase the touch-screen machines, saying they were unreliable.

The two Democrats on the four-member board blocked a move to buy the equipment. As a result, the county must now lease optical-scan devices for the November election, costing the county upward of $350,000 for rental and ballot printing.

"The long and short of it is that it's going to cost the county $300,000 because of his antics," Mr. Goulding said of Mr. Ujvagi. "That's just this year."

The county will administer up to two elections next year for which machines may have to be leased, adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to the cost the county would not have incurred had it purchased touch-screen units.

Had the elections board voted to purchase touch-screen machines, the $4.1 million cost would have been borne by the federal and state governments, using money earmarked under the federal Help America Vote Act.

"We are making the right decision," Mr. Ujvagi said of the county's move to defer a touch-screen purchase in favor of leasing optical-scan equipment. "The fact of the matter of this: It is going to cost us approximately $1.73 per person in Lucas County this year to make sure we have a verifiable vote."

"We have taken the responsible course and I am proud of the position that we took."

Without offering specifics, Mr. Goulding said he is also interested in helping government create an environment that improves the economy and education.

"Much has been made of proficiency testing and educator evaluation - both of which are important. However, what has been overlooked is what I believe is most important - parental involvement. Kids can't learn if they don't show up for class, or show up unfed, unwashed, and unprepared," he said.

Mr. Goulding, 37, is a partner in the Toledo law firm of Shindler, Neff, Holmes, Schlageter, and Mohler LLP. He is a graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law, Ohio State University, and St. Francis de Sales High School.

He is a first-time candidate but has worked on other local campaigns, including that of Republican Sally Perz.

The regular deadline for new candidates to enter such races has long passed, but state law provides political parties the chance to fill vacancies when candidates step out of races until 76 days before the election. This year's deadline is Aug. 18.



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