Dear Editor,

As we are just 28 days from election day in Ohio, I am shocked at the lack of conversation the candidates cause among my peers. Of all the commercials and advertisements I see, the Senate candidates ring in my head daily. The race for U.S. Senate has never featured two candidates so different than this year’s candidates. On one hand we have Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, who has spent his life fighting for Ohio families. The other, Congressman Rob Portman, after nearly 20 years in Washington, is backed by Wall Street, raising more money from Wall Street lobbyists than any Republican in office.

Back to this lack of conversation. Hello friends? Do you know you can vote early? Wait … are you registered? Please say, “yes.” I wonder if we are hiding behind our books, clicking our heels, hoping jobs will return in time for graduation.

The No. 1 issue of this election is jobs.

Everyone talks about the “brain drain,” how young people learn here and then leave because they fail to see any real progress in Ohio. The last few years we’ve seen some turnaround in Ohio’s cities, thanks to guys like Fisher. But unfortunately, we’re still experiencing a B*sh hangover, one that is dragging Ohio down. People here are out of work with no recourse. Much has been said about what is the best way to get us back on track. But, talk is cheap. But for the sake of argument, let’s talk.

Small businesses make up more than 98 percent of Ohio’s employers. Focusing on these businesses is the best way to jump-start our economy and something that Fisher proposed a long time ago. Recently, the U.S. Senate voted on a bill that would help small business with access to capital and the ability to sell their goods abroad. Sen. George Voinovich joined in bipartisan support of the bill, saying it is good for Ohio’s small businesses. If Portman would have been in Voinovich’s seat, Ohio small businesses would have been left in the cold.

So why on earth would we vote for Portman, the self-described “quarterback” of trade policies that sent thousands of Ohio jobs to Mexico, India and China? Portman supported NAFTA, which led to Ohio losing 50,000 jobs. When Portman was Bush’s trade representative, our trade gap with China grew to $200 billion – and sent about 100,000 Ohio jobs there with it. Even worse, Portman has voted for tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. The bottom line is that Portman’s outsourcing agenda is not right for Ohio.

The talented students and young professionals of Ohio need jobs to keep us here. I’m voting for Fisher, what about you? I’m also voting for Judge Laurel Beatty; hit me up if you need other tips on the most inspiring and effective leaders on this November’s ballot!