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Local Man's Political Aspirations Draw Threats

Updated: Saturday, October 19 2013, 12:06 AM EDT
ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- A political newbie in Anderson township says his political aspirations have drawn some pretty creepy threats aimed at his wife and children.

Local 12's Rich Jaffe has a story you'll see only on Local 12.

John Piehowicz is getting a political baptism by fire.

Something as simple as planting a political sign early in the morning recently ended up with him being told something any reasonable person would have to take as a threat.

John Piehowicz is a veterinarian.  He specializes in horses.  Local 12 caught up with him examining a filly at Turfway Park.

While he's used to this kind of horse race he recently threw his hat into a different kind of race running for Anderson Township trustee.

He got a bitter welcome to the game while campaigning in June.

He says, "A gentleman walked up to me who I'd never seen before and said, 'So you're gonna run for trustee are you?'  I said yeah I am and he said, 'You know politics is really dirty in Anderson Township.'  I said well I've heard that and he said, 'Why would you put your wife and children at risk like that?'"

Then two weeks ago...

"Was putting out signs. Had my old blue truck pulled over to the side of the road.  Guy pulls up next to me in a gray nondescript sedan says, 'Putting up signs huh?'  I said yeah and he says, 'Who's at home watching out for your wife and kids?' and drove away."

Robert Rack's one of the founders of a political analysis project called Beyond Civility.

They bring politicians from divergent perspectives together in an effort to increase communication.

He says our citizens and politicians are highly polarized right now, "Parties, political operatives and activists have concluded for whatever reason they cannot reason with the guys on the other side.  They're intractable, you can't deal with them, you just gotta beat them. So that's created this situation where people have stopped even trying to listen."

Now this would be trustee (Piehowicz) says he's even more determined to make a difference but would like to know, "Where'd the hatred come from?  Is it because all of a sudden I decided to run?  Where is this coming from?"

To Rack the lack of communication means, "You end up with ignorance and anger and it shouldn't surprise us we might be hearing threats of violence in that context but it should worry us a lot."

John Piehowicz is the only Democrat running for the trustee seat here in Anderson Township.

There are two seats open and five candidates.

He has talked with Sheriff Jim Neal about the threats but at this time, he's more determined than ever to run a clean race.

The next Beyond Civility event will be Tuesday evening.  It will be held at St. John's Unitarian Universalist Church on Resor Avenue.

The guests will be County Commissioners Greg Hartmann and Todd Portune.

Their goal is to have the commissioners "open up" about how their personal backgrounds shaped their political opinions.Local Man's Political Aspirations Draw Threats

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