On Monday, Lis Kenneth Regula, the Democratic candidate for Portage County Auditor announced that if elected, he will hold at least four public meetings per year. 

To demonstrate his appreciation of transparency and responsive governance, Regula took the “Town Hall Pledge.” The pledge entails that elected officials or candidates agree to hold at least four town hall meetings per calendar year. The town halls must be free, announced at least two days in advance and open to the public and the press.

The Town Hall Project, a grassroots organization which urges elected officials to hold face-to-face conversations with their constituents, offers the Town Hall Pledge as a way to facilitate those in-person conversations. Although the Town Hall Project focuses on federal elected officials, Regula intends to demonstrate the principles of open and honest governance at the county level.

“I’ve lived in Portage County for nearly 12 years,” Regula said. “and the people of Portage County need elected officials who listen to them, in their cities, townships and across the entire county. As a professor, I’m tasked with listening to my colleagues and my students. As Portage County Auditor, I will listen to Portage County residents, not just during election season but all year, every year.”

Responsiveness is one of the three key points which Regula believes are crucial to effective public service. He also plans to modernize county government, so it runs quickly, smoothly and thoroughly for all of Portage County, and he intends to run the auditor’s office more efficiently, to help people save time and money.

In April, Regula attended the League of Women Voters’ Face-to-Face candidate forum. Members of the public had the opportunity to ask questions and receive real answers. These included questions about property values assessments, how his professional background as a biologist prepares him for the job of county auditor and his plan to address the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) and its Three Year Rollback. 

For anyone who was unable to attend the event, Regula’s answers to these questions can be found here.


Cleveland Stonewall Democrats, an LGBT Democratic club, endorsed Lis Kenneth Regula for Portage County Auditor on Thursday.

Although the organization typically focuses on supporting pro-LGBT Democratic candidates in the greater Cleveland area, members decided to expand.

At Thursday’s meeting, Regula spoke about his commitment to equality, his personal background as an openly transgender candidate and his qualifications as county auditor.

My background in local government, education and nonprofit administration prepares me to act as a diligent fiscal officer and public servant,” Regula wrote in a statement. “As a biology and ecology researcher and professor, I have extensive experience in permitting, auditing, compliance practices, detailed record keeping and formation of protocols. Currently, I serve on the City of Kent’s Climate Action Committee which was formed after I successfully helped advocate for a resolution in support of the Paris Climate Accords. I have also served on several nonprofit boards, including Kent Environmental Council, League of Women Voters Kent and Edible Kent.”

Lis Kenneth Regula speaking to Cleveland Stonewall Democrats.

Lis Kenneth Regula would like to thank Cleveland Stonewall Democrats for their endorsement:

Thank you so much for your vote of confidence in my candidacy for Portage County Auditor. I appreciate everyone who stands with me to support effective, modern leadership that serves not just some of the public, but all of us. 

So many people have been left behind by government officials who give tax breaks to the rich instead of doing their jobs to help their communities. County auditor isn’t the most political position, but it’s a job I will do well. 

If elected, I will be the first openly transgender person to serve in public office in the state of Ohio. That’s not why I’m running and that’s not why people should vote for me. Vote for me because I’m qualified and because you agree that Portage County needs a fresh perspective. 

But the fact remains that in Ohio, people can be fired, evicted or kicked out of a store because they’re LGBT. The county auditor can’t change that, but if I’m elected, that might offer some comfort and hope to anybody who’s ever been singled out for being “different.” That will help demonstrate that people should be hired if they’re capable of doing the job. And that will be a step towards a prosperous Portage County. 

Thank you again, Cleveland Stonewall Democrats, for helping to achieve these goals. 


The primary is over and now we’re looking ahead. First things first: Thank you to everyone who voted. Though I didn’t have a primary challenger, I received 7,710 votes and I’m grateful for each one. Most importantly, it’s great that you all showed up to voice your views and participate in democracy. That’s an important responsibility, especially in such harrowing times.

Now that we’re onto the general election, I’d like to share some exciting updates. Like I’ll do when I’m auditor, I want to keep you posted about the hard work we’ve been doing. We’re starting to energize and rejuvenate Portage County, to make it an even better place to live, work, worship, go to school, raise a family, and do business.

Here’s what the Regula for Auditor team has been up to:

  • We earned an endorsement from Run For Something, which supports first-time candidates for office.
  • We’ve brought some wonderful interns and volunteers on board. Join our team!
  • We met with many of Portage County’s financial institutions at Treasurer Brad Cromes’ Financial Wellness Fair.
  • We’re featured again in Prizm Magazine’s updated list of LGBT candidates in Ohio. Here’s more local press.
  • We’ve been raising money through small, local donations so we can print yard signs, voter information, T-shirts, buttons, and everything else we need to represent our community in November and for the next four years.
  • We’ve been out in the community, meeting people and supporting other local candidates, at campaign events, fundraisers, farmers’ markets, Earth Day, and the Portage Parks District Annual Environmental Awards Dinner.

Here are our next steps to energize Portage County and start the general campaign off strong:

  • Hold events across Portage County to listen and talk with communities about the Regula Plan for modernization, efficiency, and responsiveness – three key ways to keep Portage County running smoothly without putting anyone out of a job.
  • Start knocking doors and speaking with the most important people: our neighbors, coworkers, friends, and families right here in Portage.
  • Continue keeping our supporters and our communities posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Local politics is where the real work happens! Want to be a part of it? Here’s how you can help:

  • Donate! No amount is too small. Especially at the local level, it makes a significant impact and I personally appreciate every contribution.
  • Share our website and Facebook posts with your friends and family.
  • Volunteer to help out! Email us at regulaforauditor@gmail.com for more information.

See you on the campaign trail! –Lis Kenneth Regula

—For Immediate Release—-

Regula for Auditor: Abby Winternitz at regulaforauditor@gmail.com
RFS: Lesley Lopez at press@runforsomething.net

Run For Something endorses Lis Kenneth Regula for Portage County Auditor.

April 25, 2018-  Lis Kenneth Regula is proud to receive the endorsement of Run for Something (RFS), an organization that supports first time candidates for office.

“I appreciate Run for Something’s endorsement,” said Regula. “I just want to improve Portage County and I’m grateful for everyone who supports my plan to do so.”

On his campaign website, Regula, a Democrat, says he plans to “streamline Portage County government.” He lists his top priorities as “modernization, efficiency and responsiveness.”

The endorsement process includes an extensive internal review with background check, staff interview and insight from local state experts.

By the numbers:

  • 60 first or second time candidates endorsed this month
  • RFS has endorsed 369 candidates total, from 45 states. 256 candidates have upcoming elections.
  • Campaign budgets range from $3,000 to $300,000
  • Win numbers range from 645 to 100,000 votes

“These first time candidates all have the heart and hustle that is so important to us at RFS, and we are proud to give them our endorsement,” said Ross Morales Rocketto, RFS co founder. “Put simply, they are the type of people we think the Party needs and the type of candidates who are going to work hard. They are knocking on doors and stepping up to run grassroots, community-led campaigns.”

Early voting for the May 8 primary has already started in Portage County. The general election is on Nov. 6.

“Why is a biologist running for Auditor?”

I get this question a lot and I understand why. Scientists already have careers. Why spend my time running for public office?

I truly believe in public service. That’s why I’ve spent years running nonprofits which work to improve our environment and feed the hungry. It’s why I serve on a city government committee focused on climate. And it’s why I teach.

For a wind power organization in Cleveland, I spoke about connections between science and public service:

Also, the skills and experience I’ve gained in my career as a biologist apply to the Auditor’s office, as well. As a researcher, I’ve worked with permits, audits, compliance practices, precise record keeping, and formation of protocols and best practices. For example, when I worked with NASA, surveying wildlife, if I said that I saw a species, I had to prove exactly where and when. If I didn’t see a species that was previously there, I had to show historical records and changes that might account for its absence.

As Auditor, I will bring that same level of precise detail, transparency, and integrity to Portage County. That’s what I’ve been doing for years because I care about serving the public.

Unfortunately, many politicians only pretend to care about public service, while taking advantage of the public’s trust to further their own careers.

Since I already have a career I love, I’m not beholden to special interests or just trying to win for personal gain. With my record of public service and my experience in oversight and budget management, I will work hard every day for modernization, efficiency, responsiveness, and ultimately, for the people of Portage County.