Endorsements from Totally Engaged Americans!

With election night a week away, we are happy to share the endorsements made by our members. We decided against a simple 50% threshold in favor of a candidate who receives support of 70% of our members to earn our endorsement. There are two races in Lorain County where support was split between two candidates preventing either one from achieving the 70% mark, leaving a clear favorite in the remaining races. In this VERY important off-year election, voter turnout is incredibly important so please vote and then get others to vote as well.


In one of the most important races in Ohio, we endorse JIM RENACCI Jim Renacci(pictured) for U.S. Senate. While some polling puts him within the margin of error, this seat is rated by every major polling organization as a keep for the Democrats. Renacci was an early 2016 supporter of Donald Trump and would help move his agenda through the Senate. Senators like Elizabeth Warren or Chuck Schumer would not be able to win in Ohio, and there is no reason reason to vote with their fellow liberal simply because of name recognition. Jim Renacci is a clear choice to take over this U.S. Senate seat.

In Congressional races, we endorse the Republicans JIM JORDAN, BOB GIBBS, and STEVE KRAUS (pictured). And although this question is not on the ballot, many of us Steve Krausfurther support Jim Jordan to be Speaker of the House. For too long, Republicans have campaigned on a conservative agenda, and yet even in 2017, our Republican Congress sent a budget that pays for Planned Parenthood but not a border wall. This is unacceptable, and re-electing Jordan and Gibbs will help keep the House in Republican hands. Steve Kraus has a tougher road in taking on a 30+ year incumbent and we must provide all the help we can and change minds and get out his vote in traditionally Democrat areas in Lorain County.


While some conservative groups have made no endorsement in the governor’s race, or Mike DeWinehave suggested voting for the Libertarian candidate, Totally Engaged Americans of Lorain County has endorsed MIKE DEWINE (pictured). The current governor has been a wet blanket for many Ohio conservatives and the long intermittently-conservative record of DeWine has caused some concern. Nevertheless, DeWine is clearly the better candidate between the two candidates who are competing for the victory.

The other statewide races fall into place for the Republican candidates, as we’ve endorsed DAVID YOST (Attorney General), KEITH FABER (Auditor), FRANK LAROSE (Secretary of State), and ROBERT SPRAGUE (Treasurer). Each of these positions is important in their own way when it comes to Ohio voting, pending and potential lawsuits, and financial transparency.

For State Representative, we also followed the Republican line by endorsing ROB WEBER (pictured), GAYLE MANNING, and Rob WeberDICK STEIN. Like Steven Kraus, Rob Weber is campaigning in a traditionally Democrat area so please help him with your vote and voice in getting others to support him. Both his experience and his fresh ideas for the district are clearly superior to his opponent.

For State Senator, our members split between Republican Nathan Manning and Libertarian Homer Taft. There was some concern about Manning’s relationship with former Speaker Rosenberger, his ability to oppose potentially liberal policies (like Medicaid Expansion) from either Governor DeWine or Governor Cordroy, and a generic feeling against the Manning family simply switching seats. With Taft, there is certainty that he would vote as a fiscal conservative although his social positions caused others to shy away. Regardless, neither of these candidates achieved the 70% benchmark so we leave this race up to you.

Finally for the Ohio Supreme Court, we endorse CRAIG BALDWIN and MARY DEGENARO. For State Board of Education, our chair Kirsten Hill had put her name on the ballot, however she defers to SUE LARIMER for this important seat.


In the most important race for Lorain County voters, please support and vote for JOHN CIARRONE (pictured, standing right) for County John CiaronneCommissioner. The current Democrat monopoly on the Commission is unchecked when it comes to managing our county tax dollars, and unsurprisingly their answer to any hint of financial problem is to raise taxes. They raised the sales tax after voters rejected it, and they now want more money allegedly for an opioid rehab facility although there is no evidence that these elected characters are capable of supervising and operating it as a county facility. We must begin to change the culture of our county government, and it can begin with John Ciarrone.

For County Auditor, our members split between incumbent Democrat Craig Snodgrass and Libertarian Matt Doran. Members who preferred Snodgrass look to his experience and qualifications, while those who preferred Doran looked at his technology background to streamline tasks and that he is a Libertarian.

For the courts, we endorse JENNIFER HENSAL for Ohio Court of Appeals, and JENIFER BERKI MERRILL for Court of Common Pleas.


Vote NO on Issue 1Our members vote NO on STATE ISSUE 1, the amendment which increases the legal amount of drugs one may possess. This is promoted as a way to get non-violent criminals out of our overcrowded jails, however the answer to that problem cannot be to more permissiveness when it comes to drug volume and availability.

Our members also vote NO on ISSUE 8 and ISSUE 14. Issue 8 raises funds for Vote NO on Issue 14Lorain’s Joint Vocational System and Issue 14 raises funds to create a county-run opioid center. The property taxes and sales tax of Lorain County has gone up very recently and also over the last decade, and there is zero trust or faith that JVS or the Commissioners can spend any new money responsibly. Of course our members understand the need for county services and that they must raise the necessary money to operate. We do NOT believe, however, that our current county commissioners can effectively use the resources that Lorain County citizens are forced to provide through this tax system.


We encourage you and any of your friends and family in Ohio to go to http://www.vote2018ohio.com and download a list of endorsements in your specific precinct. The only difference between our list and the list on this website is our endorsement for Mike DeWine for Governor.

Thank you all so much for your attention and your participation! It is our responsibility to become informed and engaged voters, and by getting through this list of endorsements puts you light-years ahead of many other voters in the county and in the state.

Get out and VOTE and get your friends and family to VOTE as well!

Vote May 8 – Strive to be the best-prepared voter

PLAN and PREPARE to be the best voter you can be.

Did you know that your vote means more in the primary?  It is MUCH more powerful in the primaries.  This is for a couple of reasons.  One is because only a small percentage of registered voters show up for the primary elections compared to the general elections.  Another reason is due to the gerrymandering of districts.  The state and congressional districts are typically drawn to favor one political party over another therefore whoever is the candidate on the favored political party slate wins the majority of the time in the general election.

To make your voting experience the best it can be, we have put together some information for you.  We believe that it is a challenge to be an informed voter.  It is practically a full-time job to meet and talk to all the candidates and to learn the issues in depth.  Hear we go with the basics to start with.

What day do I vote?  Tuesday, May 8, 2018  (or Early Voting Calendar)

What time do I vote?  Between 6:30 am and 7:30 pm

Where do I vote?  CLICK HERE to find your personal Polling Location.

How do I vote?

There are a few steps required to answer this question.

  • Pick your political party – This primary election your political party choices are Democrat, Green, Republican or No party (aka independent or unaffiliated, ‘issues only’).  The poll workers will ask you which party’s ballot you would like when you check in at your polling location.
  • View your Sample Ballot before you go to your polling location.  You can CLICK HERE to obtain personal sample ballot.  You can actually view the ballots for each of the 4 party choices.
  • Issues and candidates – More detailed information follows starting with the issues.
  • TEA held Candidates and Issues Forums (OPEN to the PUBLIC) in March and April of 2018 in Amherst, Ohio (Lorain County).


What are the issues on my ballot in Lorain County?

  • Issue #1 (Statewide) – Changes method of drawing congressional districts (Constitutional Amendment)

Click on the picture to WATCH video on Issue # 1.  Ballot text is here.  Ballotpedia explanation is here.

Mary Kirtz, League of Women Voters, speaks about Issue #1 at April 14 TEA Forum.
  • What do property tax Issues #4 and #5 COST the homeowner?  Jeff Baxter explains in this video.

Jeff Baxter explains cost of county tax issues at March 10 TEA Forum.
  • Issue #4 (Lorain County) – Shall the tax levy for the Board of Mental Health be renewed for 5 years?

Click on the picture to WATCH video on Issue # 4.  Ballot text is here.

Dr. Kathleen Kern, Board of Mental Health, speaks on Issue #4 at March 10 TEA Forum
  • Issue #5 (Lorain County) – Shall the tax levy for Developmental Disabilities be renewed for 5 years?

Click on the picture to WATCH video on Issue # 5.  Ballot text is here.

Amber Fisher, Board of Developmental Disabilities, speaks about Issue #5 at March 10 TEA Forum.

CANDIDATES – Statewide and Congress

Meet several of the candidates you see on sample ballots available to you right here on videos recorded at the 2018 Spring TEA Forums.

  • WATCH Mary Taylor, candidate for Ohio Governor, speak.  Click on photo below to WATCH video PART I.
Mary Taylor, Governor Candidate, speaks at April 14 TEA Forum (PART I)
  • WATCH Mary Taylor, candidate for Ohio Governor, speak.  Click on photo below to WATCH video PART 2.
Mary Taylor, Governor Candidate, speaks at April 14 Forum (PART 2).
  • WATCH Sandra O’Brien, candidate for Ohio Treasurer.  Click on photo.
Sandra O’Brien, Ohio Treasurer Candidate, speaks at April 14 TEA Forum.
  • WATCH Keith Colton, candidate for Congress Ohio 9th District.  Click on photo.  Keith wins the prize for biggest prop brought to the stage.
Keith Colton, Congress Ohio 9th District Candidate, speaks at April 14 TEA Forum.
  • WATCH Steve Kraus, candidate for Congress Ohio 9th District.  Click on photo.
Steve Kraus, Congress Ohio 9th Dist. Candidate, speaks at April 14 TEA Forum.

CANDIDATES – County & District

  • WATCH John Ciarrone, candidate for Lorain County Commissioner.  Click on photo.
John Ciarrone, county commissioner candidate, speaks at March 10 TEA Forum.
  • WATCH Nathan Manning, candidate for Ohio Senate District 13.  Click on photo.
Nathan Manning, Ohio Senate candidate, speaks at April 14 TEA Forum.
  • WATCH Ryan Sawyer, candidate for Ohio Senate District 13.  Click on photo.
Ryan Sawyer, candidate for Ohio Senate, speaks at April 14 TEA Forum.
  • WATCH Dick Stein, candidate for Ohio House District 57.  Click on photo.
Dick Stein, candidate for Ohio House 57, speaks at March 10 TEA Forum.
  • WATCH Rob Weber, candidate for Ohio House District 56.  Click on photo.
Rob Weber, candidate for Ohio House 56, speaks at March 10 TEA Forum.
  • WATCH Kirsten Penton Hill, candidate for State Central Committee District 13.  Click on photo.
Kirsten Penton Hill, candidate for State Central Committee, speaks at March 10 TEA Forum.
  • WATCH Patty Stein, candidate for State Central Committee District 13. Click on photo.
Patty Stein, candidate for State Central Committee, speaks at March 10 TEA Forum.

Trying to be a fully-informed voter is a big job.  It can be exhausting.  We hope that we have helped you out just a little bit.  That is our aim here at Totally Engaged Americans®.  Our organization is run by all volunteers.  There is no paid staff preparing the TEA Forums, contacting candidates and issue speakers, videorecording the forum speakers or updating the TEA website with all this information.

Many thanks to the emcee at the 2018 Spring candidate forums, Mr. Michael Moats.  He did a superb job introducing the issues and the candidates and directing traffic to and from the podium.  Hats off to Mike!

Okay, now to wrap it all up.


  1. MARK your calendar to GO VOTE on May 8, 2018 between 6:30 am and 7:30 pm.
  2. In advance of May 8, find your polling location here.
  3. In advance of May 8, pick your sample ballot from the 4 party choices here.
  4. In advance of May 8, STUDY the sample ballot you chose in #3 and do RESEARCH on the candidates and issues.  WATCH the videos above.
  5. In advance of May 8, DECIDE how you are going to vote on the issues and the candidates.
  6. On May 8, DRIVE to your polling location, check-in with your i.d., SELECT your political party (or no party) ballot and VOTE on all the issues and races on the ballot.

Thank you for being the best voter you can be.  Our democratic republic lives on because of individuals like you, the informed voter.