Representative James P. Trakas Announces His Candidacy for Ohio Secretary of State

State Representative James P. Trakas announced his candidacy for Ohio Secretary of State recently. He has served in the Ohio General Assembly since 1999, where he previously served as House Majority Whip. He has also served as Cuyahoga County Republican Chairman; was elected to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections; served as a City Councilman in Independence, Ohio; and distinguished himself as a business leader in Northeast Ohio.

Independence, OH (PRWEB) February 22, 2005 --State Representative James P. Trakas announced his official candidacy for Ohio Secretary of State at news conferences in his hometown of Independence, Ohio and at the Statehouse in Columbus on Monday, February 21st.

Surrounded by family and supporters, Trakas addressed several themes that will be central to his campaign. He also indicated that he would be releasing specific proposals in the coming months to address his agenda for the Secretary of State’s office.

“I will make sure every vote counts in Ohio, including those of the brave men and women of our Armed Forces serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and locations across the globe where ballot delivery has been an unresolved issue since World War II,” said Representative Trakas. “I will also maintain an open, fair and accountable electoral system that will serve as a model for other states across the nation.”

Trakas continued, “equally important to a transparent voting system, I am determined to fight fraud and abuse in campaigns and elections in nonpartisan fashion, as that is the charge of Ohio’s chief election official and guardian of our democratic principles. Furthermore, as the registrar of all businesses in our state, I will also fight for ethical business practices and procedures while ensuring that Ohio is ‘open for business’ by reducing bureaucratic barriers that inhibit the entrepreneurial spirit.”

Trakas, a four-term state representative from Independence in Cuyahoga County (17th Ohio House District), has served in the Ohio General Assembly since 1999, where he previously served as House Majority Whip. Elected to his first term at the age of 33, he currently serves on the Elections and Ethics Committee (Vice Chairman), Economic Development and Environment Committee, Finance and Appropriations Committee, and the Higher Education Subcommittee.

“In the tradition of Senator George Voinovich and Attorney General Jim Petro, both of whom were innovative and effective leaders in Cuyahoga County before ascending to the heights of government—to the betterment of our citizenry, I hope to be given the opportunity to serve not only residents of my district who I have fought for over the last seven years but all of the citizens of the great state of Ohio,” said Trakas.

“During my candidacy for Secretary of State, I will continue to work with the Governor and my fellow leaders of the General Assembly to lower our state’s tax burden on individuals; foster a better business climate in Ohio, improve not only the quality of our schools but how we fund them, address our healthcare system and craft a fiscally responsible budget with the overarching goal of improving the lives of the men, women and children who call Ohio ‘home,’” Trakas stated.

From 1996 until early 2005, Trakas served as Chairman of the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County where he worked with Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett and other Republican leaders across the region and the state to register voters, increase turnout on election day and recruit high-quality GOP candidates to run for office. He was also previously elected to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, which Bennett chairs.

Beginning at the age of 26, Trakas served two terms as a City Councilman for the City of Independence, where he was first elected in 1991 and again in 1993. Three years later, running on a platform of responsiveness to constituent concerns and citizen involvement in the political process, he began his career as a Republican party leader.

Working his way through college as a custodian for Independence Public Schools, as a hot dog vendor at Cleveland Municipal Stadium as well as a page in Ohio’s State Senate, Trakas earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences from The Ohio State University in 1987. Thereafter, he continued his education by studying Materials Management and Polymer Compounding at the University of Akron. Returning to Independence, he began work as a laborer and rose to the position of Corporate Materials Manager for Allied Color Industries, a division of PolyOne (formerly M.A. Hanna Company), which he left in 1996 to pursue a political career.

Trakas, a second generation Greek-American, learned the value of hard work and a special appreciation for the rights, responsibilities and freedoms of the American democracy from his parents and grandparents, who immigrated to the United States from Greece in the early 1920s. Similarly, Trakas developed an early understanding of the importance of service to community and country from his father, who served in World War II and his grandfather, who served in World War I. It is with that intrinsic level of understanding that Trakas aspires to be Ohio’s next Secretary of State.

“Despite legitimate concerns, the democratic system has clearly worked in Ohio during the last two presidential elections, but we have a long way to go in perfecting the electoral system in our state,” said Trakas. “I will simply not rest until each and every voter who wants to participate in our elections has the requisite knowledge of how to do so, possesses a deep and abiding understanding of the importance of performing their civic duty, and has full faith and confidence that, once cast, their vote will be counted—no matter from what city, county or circumstance.”

“It is not lost on me in this time of global unrest and the War on Terrorism that it is more vitally important than ever to educate, inform, embrace and empower our electorate. We also owe it to our men and women in uniform, those who have sacrificed greatly for our freedoms in the past, those who fought and led the women’s suffrage movement, the civil rights movement and so many other patriots to ensure democracy for all,” Trakas concluded.

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