Esrati files for OH-3, others will follow

At approximately 2:35 p.m. on June 7, Dayton Community Activist and small business owner David Esrati filed petitions containing 98 signatures to run in the July 13th special election for the Democratic party side of the OH-3 congressional ballot. Ohio-3 is an extremely gerrymandered district including a majority of Montgomery County, the northern part of Warren County and all of Clinton and Highland counties. The seat is currently held by former Dayton Mayor, Republican Mike Turner who first ran after losing the Dayton Mayoral race to Rhine McLin and the seat opened when  longstanding Democrat Tony Hall was lured out with a World Hunger Organization position and the district was redrawn to favor a Republican candidate.

Turner has accepted millions of dollars from special interest groups and is a favorite of Defense contractors, tobacco companies, Wall Street and insurance companies. He has approximately half a million on hand in his campaign treasury right now. He has coasted to victory in every race, despite being caught in a no-bid contract between the quasi-governmental Dayton Development Coalition and his wife, Lori’s marketing firm “The Turner Effect.” She also performed work for the Army Corps of Engineers while he sat on the Defense appropriations committee, and she held a GSA schedule to do work for the Federal Government while her husband was a sitting Congressman. Work for The Home Depot PAC was also exposed as a potential way around campaign finance laws, but was never investigated.

The special election was called after Dr. Mark MacNealy, who ran unopposed in the spring primary, dropped out. His campaign manager, Joe Roberts, was the only announced candidate before Esrati announced, but now former Dayton TV personality Guy N. Fogle of Miamisburg- an undeclared party candidate, Democrat C. Roger Gollihugh of Springboro, have also taken out petitions. A “Mack Van Hall” may also be turning in petitions according to Montgomery County Board of Elections, however the petition deadline isn’t until Thursday, June 10 {corrected Jun 9), and the petitions (Form 2E) are also available online courtesy of candidate Esrati.

The Board of Elections will meet in special session on Friday, June 11th to certify the candidates. The BOE may have Esrati’s petitions certified by Wednesday, June 9th at which point he will declare his candidacy officially (since declaring candidacy before the signatures have been ratified means nothing). Donations from individuals will begin to be accepted for Elect Esrati on that date.

Esrati ran in the Democratic Primary in 2008 for the OH-3 nomination, losing to Jane Mitakides who spent considerable sums of her own money losing to Turner by an even bigger margin than her 2004 outing.

Turner and Esrati first squared off in 1993, when they both ran against incumbent Mayor Richard Clay Dixon in a 6-way primary. In 1996, when Esrati caught Turner and the entire City Commission meeting illegally in “work sessions” discussing ways to eliminate citizen participation at Commission meetings, Esrati donned a black hood- and silently protested the proposed changes to the commission meetings. Turner had Esrati arrested, charged with four fourth-degree misdemeanors and pushed the city law department to prosecute and appeal every legal loss (the city lost all five cases) until finally given a choice of attempting to go to the U.S. Supreme Court or settle. The city cut a check to Esrati and his lawyers for $100,000 on Aug. 21, 1998. to end Turner’s vendetta. For a summary of that case, please see

In the time that Turner has been your Congressman, major employers have left the region due to the failures of crony capitalism, property values have dropped dramatically due to his unwillingness to have a meaningful discussion about banking practices and the Wall Street Casino and unemployment has reached record highs. In his eight years in office he has yet to author any significant reform bills to Congress. However, he has admitted that his earmarks are for sale to the highest bidder.

If there are multiple candidates that make the ballot, Esrati will call on the league of Women Voters to stage a debate between the candidates and will post it on YouTube.

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