Seven contend for Ohio U.S. Rep. 8th district

Last updated: April 30. 2014 9:31AM - 2923 Views
Bethany J. Royer

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Bethany J. Royer

Staff Writer


PIQUA — A half dozen will contest for the Ohio 8th District seat, currently held by Speaker of the House John Boehner, on May 6. However, whether his contenders stand a chance after more than two decades in the position remains to be seen given Matthew Ashworth (Republican) has dropped out of the race. The Associated Press stated Tuesday the tea party activist had announced his withdrawal just one week before the Republican primary and was backing contender Eric Gurr.

Meanwhile, J.D. Winteregg (Republican) has courted controversy over his campaign ads with the Associated Press citing the loss of a part-time teaching position at Cedarville University over a video posted on YouTube.

The parody of an erectile dysfunction commercial suggested Boehner has “electile dysfunction” did not represent Cedarville’s views or values, said a Cedarville spokesman.

All candidates were provided with the same questions by the Piqua Daily Call and their responses are listed below in alphabetical order by last name, including Ashworth. An asterisk denotes those who did not respond before deadline with information pulled from their candidacy websites and/or www.votesmart.org.

Matthew Ashworth (Republican)

Ashworth, of Liberty Township, married with two sons, is the Chief Executive Officer of DigitalUnderwriter.com Inc. and American BPO.

While no previous experience in the political sphere, Ashworth stated before his withdrawal qualifications came from his mortgage underwriter and auditor experience. Watching progressive policies destroy the economy and the American mortgage industry he stated, “As a business owner my firm competes with overseas firms, for American banking jobs, and that can be quite the challenge when the banks (Who we bailed out) prefer to outsource mortgage jobs overseas where the labor is a quarter of the price.”

Foreign firms do not have a minimum wage, overtime, onerous EPA laws or a huge Obamacare tax on their labor, continued Ashworth, with government policies having priced the American worker out of the worldwide workforce.

If elected, Ashworth’s top 10 goals include: Require federal contracts go to American workers. Impose financial disincentives on firms that outsource American jobs in order to equalize the price of labor between American and foreign labor markets. Repeal Obamacare. Term limits for house and senate (I, personally, pledge to serve 6 years in the house max). Balance budget amendment. I support school choice for all parents and we should end Common Core immediately. We need to eliminate all special exemptions for congress and halt all pay increases until the unemployment rates is under 5 percent. I support the Liberty Amendments and am for mandatory voter ID. I do not support amnesty and will fight for English as the only language and securing the borders at any cost. It’s a matter of national security, American culture and jobs. My goal is to dramatically roll back the federal government and give control back to the states.

When asked what he saw as the greatest need to be addressed in the position, Ashworth states the following: he most important issue we have is the jobs crisis. Millions of working poor and middle class folks have lost their homes, their jobs and incomes, families have been uprooted and lives have been lost and it’s all because of progressive policies. Someone needs to take a stand for the poor and middle class in America. All these politicians and their crony capitalist friends have no idea what people are going through. It’s astonishing to me that while millions of Americans are out of work, the President and the Speaker seem prepared to pass amnesty. Who is that going to help? This administration outsources the Obamacare website, twice. To me that’s a slap in the face to the American IT industry. We bailed out the banks and they turn around and send all our mortgage jobs (and your personal information) overseas. This is why I got in the race. i am fighting for the future of the American workforce.

John Boehner (Republican)

Married for more than 40 years to Debbie, and the father of two daughters, Boehner is a lifelong resident of the Cincinnati area and a former small businessman. He is the current U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 8th Congressional District with previous political experience including but not limite to president of Nucite Sales, 1977 - 1990; Union Township (now West Chester) trustee in 1981, served 1982-1984; elected to Ohio House of Representatives in 1984, served 1985-1990; elected to U.S. House of Representatives in 1990, has served from 1991 to the present; Speaker of the House since 2011.

In terms of qualifications, Boehner states his top priority is listening, and addressing the priorities of the families, individuals and the small businesses that make our area great.

“As Speaker, I’ve led the House in the fight to rein in Washington spending, repeal ObamaCare and revitalize manufacturing to help create good southwest Ohio jobs,” states Boehner. “We’ve made some real progress in the face of a strong and united White House and Democratic-controlled Senate, but there is still so much to be done. Republicans have a real opportunity to continue advancing better solutions for jobs, and greater opportunities, and I am committed to continuing to lead these important efforts.”

Boehner’s reasons for seeking office?

“Southwest Ohio is my home. It’s where Debbie and I raised our daughters, and it’s where I ran a small business. It’s where I still live today,” states Boehner. “After five years of President Obama’s failed policies, nothing pains me more than traveling our area to meet with small businesses and families struggling to deal with all the burdens being handed down from Washington. That’s why I am committed to the fighting bad policy – like ObamaCare, higher taxes, and more spending – while offering a better way.”

Boehner continues that it is an uphill fight with Democrats controlling the White House and Senate, but real progress is being made. That he has led the way in stopping new jobs-crushing taxes, slashing Congress’s own budget, banning earmarks and cutting spending while putting forward a budget that balances in 10 years and successfully repealing ObamaCare’s burdensome small business paperwork mandate, and more.

“But my work is far from finished; if given the opportunity to serve again, I’ll continue working create a better environment for job growth by eliminating wasteful government spending, stopping federal tax hikes, tackling excessive regulations, and curbing our jobs-crushing federal debt,” states Boehner with his goals if elected to get Washington out of the way of small businesses and hardworking families is the key to growing the economy and creating jobs. “Under this president, we have fallen into a “new normal” nationally of slow growth, too few jobs, and stagnant wages – but we don’t have to settle for this. There are things that we can do right now to spur economic growth and create jobs: more American exports, more domestic energy production, a simpler tax code, education and skills training, and less government red tape, just to name a few. If given the opportunity to serve you again, I will keep working to put an end to The Left’s failed policies and get big government out of the way of the robust economic growth needed to get our country back on track.”

When asked as to what he sees as the greatest need to be addressed in the position Boehner replied that as he travels throughout the 8th District, people are concerned about the same issues: jobs and the economy. If given the opportunity to serve again, he will continue working to create a better environment for job growth by eliminating wasteful government spending and curbing our jobs-crushing federal debt, reforming job training and skills programs, stopping federal tax hikes, and tackling excessive regulations – just to name a few.

Last, a third big issue Boehner’s states as hearing from people in our local area is repealing the president’s health care law – “and no one is more committed to repealing and defunding the president’s health care law than I am. I was one of the first to warn that the law would drive up costs, ruin coverage, and destroy jobs. I fought Nancy Pelosi and President Obama for months up to the fateful ObamaCare vote, and I ultimately led every single House Republican in voting against it. The only solution is to rip this law out by its roots, and I am going to keep fighting it.”

James J. Condit Jr.* (Constitution)

Condit, married with six children and resident of Cincinnati, holds a Bachelor’s of Philosophy degree from Xavier University and founder of a clothing print business.

Condit has been active in the political sphere, making a run for candidacy several times including District 8 in 2010 and District 2 in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006. He is also the founder of Cincinnatus Political Action Committee and co-founder of Life Is For Everyone (LIFE) and has managed 11 campaigns between 1979 and 2006.

After selling his print business in 1989, Condit moved into sales and what he describes as “political wars” on his campaign website. Stating he has made an appearance on over 60 radio programs, hosted the Citizens for a Fair Vote Count Convention in Cincinnati and

Condit states he is “using the political process to try and alert the American people to what is really going on, as well as to lay the basis for a citizens movement to reclaim America’s destiny.”

Eric Gurr (Republican)

Gurr, married 26 years with three children and two grandchildren hales from West Chester and is Chief Executive Officer of Intralink. He has been a business owner for 20 years and student of history with an emphasis on the study of the last 100 years.

For Gurr, he is seeking the Congress 8th district of Ohio believing the United States economy is on the verge of a potential collapse. Excessive spending, debt, and regulation have killed job growth for more than six years now. Adding to this is a desire to increase immigration by big businesses to lower wages and push for new and ill-advised trade treaties to send even more manufacturing jobs to China and other nations.

If elected, Gurr states he will repeal Obamacare, cut spending on unnecessary and duplicate programs, cut taxes to promote economic growth, stop the regulatory machine inside many government agencies, bring back thrift and sanity in long term economic planning. Stop burdening our children with debt.

When asked what he saw as the greatest need to be addressed in the position, Gurr states the following: Change the focus from politics, big business and Wall Street and put it back on the middle class.

Matthew J. Guyette (Democrat)

Guyette, a resident of Greenville and a tour guide for the U.S. Capitol, is seeking the U.S. Congressional, eighth district of Ohio seat as a student of history and after a lifetime of hard work. Stating Washington and the Federal government has been rigged to work for the wealthy and the well-connected to the detriment of our great middle class.

“I want to return fairness and a level playing field so that everyone has an equal shot at success,” stated Guyette while bringing transparency and sunlight to campaign finance and the U.S. tax code.

In terms of the greatest need to be addressed in the position, Guyette says a return to pragmatic problem-solving and working together to find solutions to our national’s problems and return us to a destiny of greatness.

Tom Poetter (Democrat)

Poetter, married almost 30 years with two boys, Mitch, 20, and Sam, 18, is a professor of education at Miami University. His interest in running for Congress is to bring leadership back to the district, stating Boehner has held the office for twelve consecutive terms (24 years) with little to no impact on the district except to use one of the highest positions in the land to hold the country hostage in Oct. 2013 for 16 days. The government shutdown, which the speaker could have avoided by taking an early, clean vote on the budget, cost taxpayers $24 billion threatened our national and economic security, and proved how broken the politics of Washington are today. Citizens lose the most with the status quo, and many feel dissatisfied with the current situation and want a change that will work for them.

“I intend to govern in the House of Representatives by collaborating, listening, building consensus, compromising and acting in the best interest of all citizens and not just the special interests of the 1 percent, the rich, the powerful and fringe elements. I intend to represent each citizen of our great district with respect, care, and compassion, not with obstructionism and grandstanding.”

Poetter’s goals in office will be to protect everyone’s right to affordable and accessible healthcare, spending no more resources on trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act. History will bear that out same as it did for Medicare, same as it did for Social Security.

He will solidify and enshrine women’s rights to safe, legal abortion, and birth control. Women are not a special interest group, they are 52 percent of the population and they vote.

Move the national discussion forward on issues surrounding education. As a professor of education, I am in a unique position to discuss this with fluency. One of the fundamentally good things a democratic republic does is fund education.

Restore long-term employment benefits and increase funding to the SNAP program.

When asked about the greatest need to be addressed in the position, Poetter responded, we need to restore short and long-term benefits to the most marginalized and injured citizens in our society, the poor, who are being punished by austerity economics and austerity politics. Government should restore unemployment benefits to the most fragile part of our workforce - the long-term unemployed (cut for nearly 2 million people now since Dec. 28, 2013) and we should work across party and geographic lines in states and municipalities to restore food stamp benefits to millions of Americans struggling to feed their families in the richest nation in the world.

Both of these parts of the social safety net actually increase investment in our economy because the money gets spent directly in the economy. Investing in Americans helps us all and leads to economic recovery. The Speaker won’t even bring these things to the floor for a vote, and this is the most emergent and pressing issue in our district and in our country.

J.D. Winteregg* (Republican)

Winteregg, married, resident of Troy, and currently a high school teacher comes with a wealth of secondary education through Ohio State University, Ohio Wesleyan University and Wright State University.

According to his website, Winteregg is relatively new to the political scene, stating this is an advantage he embraces as his ideas truly represent the people in the district.

Winteregg’s goals include showing commitment to outreach groups so as to further their improvement, working tirelessly to improve the representation in the district, and in just a year, has become a leader within several tea party/liberty groups. Stating this commitment has helped his popularity to skyrocket within these groups as he brings enthusiasm and creativity to the district–something that is desperately needed–and these attributes have helped to inspire others to action.

Bethany J. Royer may be reached at (937) 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall

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