EATON — Current Preble County Commissioner Rodney Creech announced his campaign for State Representative of the 43rd District on Monday, May 6.
Creech will be running against current Representative J. Todd Smith.
During his public announcement event, Creech spoke about his political career thus far and discussed the influence his grandfather had on him growing up.
“Twelve years ago I got into politics. I don’t like politics — I like to be called a public servant, as many of you know. I’ve been doing this for 12 years and it has been great and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” Creech said. “When I was a young man, my Grandpa was a Twin Township Trustee. I absolutely loved going out with grandpa to take a tree off the road after a storm, help with a funeral, or just help deal with people’s issues.
“As I was growing up, I watched grandpa and I always wanted to be like him. He was an honest, hardworking farmer and everyone trusted and respected him. I wanted to be just like him. Let’s fast forward 20 years, I decided it was time for me to run my business full time. At that time, I thought I was going to have a flexible enough schedule and I would be able to be a dedicated township trustee.
“I started going to township meetings, getting involved and seeing things. I thought, ‘Hey, maybe there are some things I can make improvements on.’ I ran for township trustee in 2007 and I was able to win the election. I was one step closer to being like grandpa. I always thought I was going to be a trustee [for life]. The only way you’re not a trustee for life is if you screw it up or don’t work hard. I thought I could be there forever.
“After I took office, I soon realized that the job was much more than I knew. Yeah, you get to clean up trees off the road after a storm, you help with funerals, you get to deal with people’s issues. What I loved most was working with the constituents. Helping with their issues and I got to serve them. I found it to be so rewarding and I fell in love with the job. Of course, I would receive positive feedback and not-so positive feedback. It made me work harder and I loved it.
“After my first term as township trustee I was excited to run again as I wanted to continue to serve. I was able to run another successful campaign and win the election, but this time it was different. I was able to be more involved in the community because of my first terms experiences, so I started getting more involved in the county and I started to pay close attention to what was going on, meeting with people, and listening.
“Into my second term as a township trustee I started to feel like I could do more. I loved serving the township and wanted to serve there forever, but I started to attend county commissioner meetings, I started to attend economic development meetings, and I got more involved in the community. That is when I knew I wanted to do more. I felt like I could serve, take care of, and represent even more people, so I decided to run for county commissioner.
“In 2014 I was able to win the election. After serving seven years as a Twin Township Trustee, I traded my township keys in for courthouse keys. It was a great feeling, I was able to serve an entire county. I was so excited and up for the challenge, I continued to be very active and learn everything I could about Preble County and I attended a lot of meetings — and I also invited myself to a lot of meetings.
“I found that one of my favorite things to do is help people and serve our community. Many of you have heard me say, this is the best job I have ever had, and I mean it. As I grew into my job as county commissioner, I also found that there was a lot more to the job than I knew. There were more moving parts, more people, different ideas, and politics. I didn’t know there was politics in local government, but there is.
“The more I get involved, the more I wanted to learn, the more I learned, the more I wanted to get involved. It is very fulfilling to me. After my first term as county commissioner, I was excited to run again and I wanted to continue to serve our great county and I am proud to be serving on my second term thanks to you.”
Creech also talked about his interaction with former State Representative Jeff Rezabek. Creech said, he learned about the position through Rezabek and felt the urge to “do more.”
“I wanted to serve past my township role so I ran for county commissioner. Now, I’m wanting to serve past my county role. I would like to represent Preble County and our district at the state level. Being a fourth generation farmer, a local business owner, and knowing how our district works, today I am announcing my campaign for Ohio’s 43rd House Seat. I believe in order to have someone representing us, they need to know who we are and they need to understand us,” Creech said.
“I want to take our 43rd District to Columbus and not represent Columbus to our great district. I will watch out for our tax dollars and be the conservative I was raised to be. Keep in mind that being conservative is not always saying ‘no’ to services. With my business background, I understand that there are some areas that we can’t cut and that is where my management skills are important.
“My strengths are working with people and making tough decisions. I think we need a hardworking, common sense, conservative farmer that understands the importance of regulations, budgeting, making payroll, and understands the risks that Ohioans handle daily. I will do all I can to give our police what they need, keep them safe, so they can keep us safe. I want to work for you and with you.”
He added, he wants to run a “clean and positive campaign” and hopes “the other side will do the same.”
“Our voters deserve better than the negative nonsense that dominates the news today. Our voters deserve representation by someone who tells it how it is,” Creech said. “In closing, I’m asking for your support. Preble County has not had leadership for 20 years at the state level. With your help, I can exchange my courthouse keys for those at the State House.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH