Candidate Profile, James Duffee
1. Your name as it will appear on the ballot:
James Harvey Duffee
2. The office for which you are running:
Representative, Ohio House District 71
3. Why you are running for this office:
When I first considered running for office, my intention was to work to improve the health outcomes for women and children in Ohio, and to advance policies to reduce family poverty and its long term effects. Following the redistricting scandal, the mass shooting in Uvalde, and the Dobbs decision, my focus expanded to assuring fair maps/free elections, protecting reproductive freedom, and passing common sense gun safety regulations. My website goes into more detail (www.drjimduffee.com), but my three areas of concentration are encapsulated by the slogan, for a healthy, safe, and just Ohio.
Economic concerns are also important for Ohio’s future. District 71 is mostly rural and the challenges for farmers and farming communities are becoming more difficult to negotiate as the climate changes and the country moves toward clean energy sources. The proposed 2023 Farm Bill includes incentives for sustainable and regenerative agriculture in addition to crop insurance for farmers and nutrition programs (such as SNAP) important to women and children. Although many of these programs are federal in origin, they will be administered at the state level. We need to have strong advocates for women and children, including those living in rural Ohio, at the table where regulations and allocations are decided. Critical for full social, educational, and employment participation for families in rural areas is extension of broadband services, which is a goal of federal pandemic relief funding, but, again, will be administered and allocated at the state level.
4. What makes you the best candidate for this office:
The contrast between my opponent and me could not be more stark. I am a physician who has worked to improve the lives of families and children in the Miami Valley for over 30 years. I was the physician founder of Rocking Horse Community Health Center in Springfield and a member of the founding board of the Clark County Child Advocacy Center.
My opponent, in the 6 years he has been in the General Assembly, voted for the Heartbeat Law (prohibiting abortion after 5 weeks), unlicensed carry, Stand Your Ground, arming school personnel, and gender “verification” for young women athletes. He has voted against improved protection for victims of domestic violence and against public health measures to protect the public against COVID-19, which he has stated is a hoax.
5. What are your credentials and qualifications for the office you are seeking:
Although I have not held public office, I have been active as a community leader and advocate for children and families. I am a medical doctor with specialties in pediatrics and psychiatry. I also have a master’s in public health from Ohio State and am currently taking post-graduate courses in the Center for Bioethics at OSU. I have worked on health care policy development at both the state and national levels through the American Academy of Pediatrics.
6. What are the three most important goals you plan to focus on as you campaign and when you are elected:
An overarching concern is the establishment of fair district maps, an end to racially motivated gerrymandering, and free elections in which every vote is counted. Once that is established, three measurable goals are protection of reproductive freedom, passage of common-sense gun safety regulations (e.g. background checks, red flag restrictions, licensing requirements), and establishment of a fair and just school funding mechanism.
7. WIN members may want to help on your campaign.
Contact info: Cheryl Marcus, Campaign Manager
Phone: (937) 620-5227
In the next few weeks, hosting candidate meet-and-greet events, deploying and managing yard signs, and helping with mailers are opportunities for participation.