SIDNEY – Joe Ratermann, currently an at-large member of Sidney City Council, released his candidacy announcement on Saturday for state representative. He is running in the Republican primary in May to serve Ohio’s 85th District. The 85th District includes all of Champaign and parts of Logan and Shelby counties.
Ratermann’s candidacy petition was certified by the board of elections last week, along with incumbent Nino Vitale of Urbana, Justin G. Griffis of Sidney and Rochiel Foulk of Urbana. Griffis, an attorney in Sidney, released his candidacy statement to the media in December of 2017 and it was published by the Urbana Daily Citizen on Dec. 18. The Republican winner will face Democrat Garrett Baldwin of Mechanicsburg in the Nov. 6 general election. Baldwin is a senior at Mechanicsburg High School.
Born and raised in Sidney, Ratermann graduated from Lehman Catholic. Immediately following high school, he enlisted the United States Marine Corps, where he served as both a combat engineer and as a Marine embassy guard.
Ratermann left the Marine Corps to attend college. After earning a law degree from George Mason University, he served his country another 14 years as an attorney in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps – including a year in Yugoslavia, another in the Middle East and an additional year in Afghanistan.
Ratermann also served as the Group Judge Advocate to the 1st Special Forces Group. He was also the legal advisor to a Joint Special Operations Task Force.
After more than 22 years of military service and 30 years of travel throughout all 50 states and more than 50 other countries, Ratermann returned to west central Ohio so that his children could grow up learning the values and principles which he found specific to the region of the 85th House District.
In addition to his serving as a city councilmember, Ratermann also teaches American Government at Edison State Community College. He has also spent the past three summers as a seasonal National Park Ranger, this past year earning the National Parks Travelers Club Flat Hat Award.
Ratermann is pro-life, pro Second Amendment and supports a fairer system of taxation. He is also a proponent of limited government. He believes that his experience working with people from various cultures and nationalities around the world, often in hostile situations, will help him work effectively in Columbus.
Ratermann stated he “fully understands the importance of representing the district in Columbus for all recorded votes.” He said he also understands that much of the important work of state government is conducted by committee, and that it is equally important to be heavily involved within those committees.
“I believe that the most important government is not found in Washington D.C., nor in Columbus,” Ratermann stated in announcing his candidacy, “but rather at the local level. The most important government is that which is found in our townships and counties, villages and cities.”
“We simply must curb the flow of power away from local government to Columbus, and beyond. I want to work to see local government funding restored to pre-2008 levels and to eliminate unfunded mandates,” Ratermann said in making his announcement.
“I believe strongly that government officials are elected to work hard for their communities,” Ratermann stated. “Just as I served my country in the military, I will serve the citizens of the communities that make up the 85th Ohio House District.”
In addition to his service on Sidney’s City Council and teaching government at Edison State, Ratermann is a member of the Sidney Rotary Club and the Sidney-Shelby County Opiate Task Force. Active in orienteering, Ratermann has directed a number of local events at Sidney’s Tawawa Park. Ratermann also enjoys camping at state and national parks.