As he seeks re-election for the third time as U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 7th congressional district, Bob Gibbs (R-Lakeville) said opponent Roy Rich (D-Eaton Township) is incorrect in thinking the U.S. Congress serves the needs of corporations and big donors more than it does voters.
“I obviously don’t agree with that,” said Gibbs. “I’ve been working hard since getting here in 2010 to represent everybody. There are a couple of really big issues right now. One is the economy and the other is national security.”
He was first elected to the Ohio General Assembly in 2002 and was re-elected twice before moving on to the Ohio Senate in 2009. There, he served only one year due to winning election to Congress.
In Congress, Gibbs has served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and as chairman of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee.
“How we get the economy back on track is we got to have our spending under control,” he said. “We’ve got to have common sense regulatory reform. We’ve got regulations piled on top of each other now that are just suffocating economic growth and job opportunities.”
Rich retired as a commander from the Cleveland police department in 2009 after spending 35 years in law enforcement.
“I’ve seen the ups and downs and in the economy and the ups and downs in banking,” he said. “I’ve seen what’s happened in our economy. I think Congress is owned by big business and the one percent. When GE and Verizon don’t pay their taxes, someone else has to pay them. You and I are paying those taxes. Small businesses are paying those taxes.”
During his time in Cleveland, he held executive board positions in both the patrol officers and supervisors unions. He spent time as vice president and president of the of the supervisors union and as a trustee on the patrol officers board.
He has been on the board of directors for the Cleveland Police Credit Union since the late 1990s and serves as co-chair of both the investment and credit union development committees.
Rich doesn’t think talks of cuts to Social Security are sensible and doesn’t agree with calling the fund and its benefits to Americans an ‘entitlement’.
“Social Security is not a gift,” he said. “It’s an insurance program we all pay into. Congress is supposed to be good stewards of our money and find ways to fix issues that arise. That’s what my job will be in Congress. I believe it’s called the House of Representatives and not the house of corporations.”
Also in the running is Dan Phillip (I-Ashland), who founded the Transformation Network in 1999, a nonprofit alternative to welfare programs. He also helped establish the Advancing Industry Task Force of Ashland County and served on the Ashland City Planning Commission for six years.
“We focus on work force development for manufacturing,” he said. “We take the money we earn and put it back into the community for people with felonies and people living in poverty.”
He said he is focused on giving felons new avenues to gain opportunity in their working lives.
“I want to put them in positions to work and to escape the kinds of things they were doing to cause harm,” he said. “Along the way, manufacturers said they needed some help. We had the people, so I got into workforce development. We don’t ask the taxpayer for a dime. We don’t write grants and we really don’t ask people for contributions. I’d say 99.6 percent of our funding is derived from the work we do for manufacturers in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.