Ohio House candidate meets with potential constituents

BEAVERCREEK — Kim McCarthy, candidate for state representative in Ohio District 73, met with military spouses from Wright-Patterson Air Face Base March 11 as part of an outreach initiative in order to hear directly from her prospective constituents about their specific needs.

Help with employment red tape was at the top of their list.

“Ohio should be offering military spouses an exemption from Ohio’s standard requirements, so long as they can prove that they have the qualifications from another state to do the job,” McCarthy said after the meeting in Beavercreek.

“Sorry, there is nothing I can do for you,” is something Bri McKinnon, wife of 2nd Lieutenant Monte McKinnon, said she has heard too often. McKinnon, 26, is a teacher nearing her completion of a master’s degree in special education from Washington University.

McKinnon said that the Fairborn School District basically hired her on the spot as they were trying to fill 10 open positions for special education teachers. But she found out that in order to get the job she would have to take a lengthy college class and state exams that together cost more than $3,000.

McKinnon stressed she is not looking for special treatment. Rather, she wants an affordable vetting system that addresses the specific needs of military spouses that equals that of permanent Ohio residents. She used California, her family’s next likely move, as an example.

“We literally have to take a free quiz about California to show we know some relevant information about the state and pay $50 and we get a license,” McKinnon said. “I am absolutely devastated at what military wives have to go through. We are being punished for serving our country.”

McCarthy vowed to address the employment red tape for military spouses if elected.