East Toledo businessman throws hat into election
East Toledo businessman Dan Steingraber, a Republican, stood inside the lobby
of the Weber Block Wednesday morning to make official his candidacy for Lucas County commissioner.
“This is an important day for me and my family, as you are well aware. This was not an easy decision for me to make,” Steingraber said with laryngitis in his voice while surrounded by over 20 supporters.
“These folks are here today because they know me. They know what I stand for and they know I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe,” Steingraber continued. “They know that I have not only encouraged, but made a commitment to talk the conservative talk and walk the conservative walk.
“Lucas County has suffered from a lack of conservative leadership for too long. It’s time for us, conservatives, to lead and engineer a conservative path to economic development and jobs and increase employment through the application of solid economic and conservative principals,” Steingraber continued.
Steingraber, who lives on Grand Bay Drive, Oregon, joins Republican candidates Pam S. Hanley of Sylvania, George Sarantou of Toledo, and Andy Glenn of Holland in seeking to represent their party during the general election Nov. 2. The primary is slated for May 4.
Competing in the Democratic primary are Toledo residents Art Jones, Ben Krompak, Carol Contrada, and Michael Zychowicz, Maumee resident Earl Murry, and Sylvania resident Tim Porter.
Steingraber has been active in economic development, recently serving as chairman of River East Associates. He claims to have over 20 years experience in building public and private partnerships.
“In the past I’ve attended literally hundreds of press conferences offering my support to a wide range of issues and various people and their positions. But today is different. My family and I have decided that it’s time for me to step out from the crowd of supporters and be the ‘standard bearer’ for what we believe,” Steingraber said.
He has been the owner of a commercial and residential appraisal business for over 14 years, currently with offices on Main Street, just a short walk from the Weber Block in East Toledo.
“I’ve worked hard to develop a small business and am surrounded by quality people in an industry I truly enjoy, even in these difficult economic times,” Steingraber said. “Standing with me today, as you can see, are family, friends, customers, clients, neighbors, hunting buddies, golfing buddies, and even some of my competitors in the real estate appraisal business.
Steingraber echoed Toledo Mayor Mike Bell’s “commitment toward at a balanced budget and a strong effort to cooperate with surrounding communities.”
“I have the ability to build long term relationships, the ability to analyze budgets and to create balanced budgets. I think I can bring that to the county,” Steingraber said. “Not only what I can bring to the commissioner’s office, but what I can bring to the county in general is the knowledge and experience of working the difficulties and the obstacles behind being successful in business. I’ve started a business. I’ve been there and done that.”
He also focused on Toledo attribute’s, including “incredible natural resources, the University of Toledo, the necessary industrial infrastructure and a highly trained and hard working labor pool.”
“In addition, we have new and tangible leadership at the Lucas County Port Authority as well as the Lucas County Improvement Corporation. We have proven and effective leadership at the chamber of commerce and Regional Growth Partnership,” Steingraber said.
However, Steingraber believes the concept that politicians or governments “create jobs is absurd” and explained that he believes entrepreneurs and small business owners create jobs and that it is government’s only role to facilitate doing business in an area and then to “…get out of the way and let entrepreneurs and risk takers do what they do best.”
“It’s not easy, but simple. Governments do everything in their power to create and nurture the environment, where those with capital to invest take the risks that result in reasonable returns. Government’s job is to let those risk takers do what they do best,” Steingraber continued.
He and his wife Colleen live in Oregon and have three grown children. They stood alongside his mother and father, who arrived from Florida for the press conference.
“My wife Colleen and I have a wonderful life. We’ve raised three wonderful children who are now out making their way on their own,” Steingraber said.
“Public service is something my family and I have talked about for a long time,” Steingraber added. “As we had those discussions, obviously, we thought about where my skill sets would fit best. The legislative process is a messy and partisan process, and I didn’t think I would fit real well into the legislative process.
“So, it is my opinion that the commissioner’s office is more administrative, and that is where my skill sets fit mostly.”