Last night, Jan. 19th, was a busy night. First, a stop at the Greene County Democratic Party HQ. They put out an amazing spread of food and make you feel very welcome.
I walked in with my family, yard signs, posters, t-shirts, campaign pieces and even stickers. The other candidates who came were lucky to have business cards. In attendance were Mac Van Allen, Ryan Steele, Tom McMasters and me.
I spoke first- gave them my pitch about taking money out of politics, talked about how Turner spent $780K to whup on poor Joe Roberts who only spent about $6k last time. McMasters got up and spoke- left out the part about him being a Republican last time and told everyone how he wasn’t taking donations. Ryan Steele was interesting- right away he told us he was delivering pizzas for a living, had no health care and his wife (who was there with him) was the manager of the pizza place. They were down to one car- and making do. I think it’s great that we’ve got people believing that everyone has the right to run. I wanted to hear Van Allen, but he must have slipped out. Olivia Freeman and Sharen Neuharth didn’t show.
Then it was on to Washington Courthouse where the Fayette County Democrats meet in a county building. The sign in the lobby was priceless, Republicans upstairs, Dems Downstairs. They didn’t get the memo on colors- while Dems are in Blue- the Republicans are in Green. The meeting room was packed and again very welcoming.
Only McMasters and I were there from the 10th. McMasters said he was a Republican last race in his little speech and the crowd lost interest quickly. The county is split- between the 10th which has most of the county and the 15th which has the southern part. The two candidates were there – and both really impressive. Steve Stivers is the incumbent and has two challengers in the Republican primary and Pat Lang and Scott Wharton are running as Dems.
Lang is the current Athens Law Director, and comes off like a polished politician and a lawyer. He has a website http://langforcongress.com/ and had a handout. Wharton is a former USAF C141 pilot who now flies 737s for Delta around the country. He’s also a farmer- real family farm. He said he’s running because he wants to fix things so his kids can find jobs- both have graduated college to an abysmal job market. Neither were proposing solutions- and if given a choice, I’d probably vote for the veteran over the lawyer, but, that’s me.
I was asked what I’d do for Fayette County. I gave my stock answer of do what’s best for the country first- the state second, and that should take care of the county. I don’t believe in pork or earmarks. I do believe in having an office staffed by the best people available- not necessarily political party friends. After the meeting was over and I was working the room, a guy pulled me aside and told me how he’d worked in Montgomery County during the 2008 election for one of the national organizations working the election- and that he had to ask out because he thought Montgomery County politics were the most corrupt he’d ever seen. We have a reputation.
Sunday afternoon it’s back to Greene County from 2-4 for a “meet the candidates” event 87 E. Main St., Xenia. Hope I’ll see you. I post the events on www.electesrati.com/events so you can always see what’s coming up.