POMEROY — Meigs County Republicans gathered at Meigs Local High School Thursday evening to listen to state and local candidates discuss issues during their annual Lincoln Day gathering.
Meigs County Republican Chair Bill Spaun introduced keynote speaker Mike Gibbons, Republican candidate for Senate.
Gibbons is running in the May primary against two Republican opponents for a place on the November ballot, and began his address, “I’m not a career politician, I’m a businessman. I’m blunt, I tell the truth.“
He said he wouldn’t apologize for his success as others have done, instead, he chooses to point out his accomplishments, saying, “my experience will help me deal with issues facing the nation.”
Referring to the recent tax bill passed by Congress, “Taxes haven’t been lowered enough for small businessmen, they are still paying too high taxes, and we need to tinker with the tax bill to help those small businessmen, to help the economy grow.”
Gibbons said his motivation for running began with witnessing his son receiving his wings as a Naval Aviator, and also campaigning for Donald Trump.
“My son was the first in our family to be in the military,” he said. “ The military was ignored under Obama, we need to make sure they are better equipped. In order to have peace we must be prepared for war.”
After exploring several positions in the Trump administration, he said, “I couldn’t get my business life to comply with government service, I was disappointed. But then I was advised to run for the Senate against Sherrod Brown.”
So far, Gibbons has racked up 55,000 miles traveling around Ohio, and said he will continue to meet with voters and discuss the issues he believes are important to them, including the National Debt and the deficit.
Gibbons claims that while sympathetic to the needs of the elderly, disabled, and those with pre-existing conditions, what is needed to fix the nation’s health care issues is “to keep the government out of health care and to have competition between insurance companies. We need transparency, people need to know the cost of a medical procedure, to be able to choose their provider and facility, to make an informed decision.”
He said he is against citizenship for those who come to the United States illegally, pro Second Amendment, and “believes in protecting the sanctity of all human life.”
Gibbon addressed the opioid epidemic, saying he has a different approach to solving the crisis, and has a personal investment in the solutions: the Luna Living Recovery Center in Cleveland, and a $1.5 million investment in the development of a co-enzyme NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) designed to treat drug addition. The drug claims to have an 85 percent success rate and is currently in clinical trials for FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval.
Spaun then opened the podium to other state candidates.
Justice Mary DeGenaro spoke first, and said she was pleased to have been appointed by Gov. John Kasich to fill the seat vacated by William O’Neill on the Ohio Supreme Court. The seat is up for election this November for a full term beginning Jan. 2, 2019. She credited her ability to receive her education in the state of Ohio to former Gov. James Rhodes, an advocate for affordable education.
State Rep. Keith Faber, (R-84th) is running for State Auditor, and explained the importance of the Auditor position; “ The Auditor is the chief compliance officer, and works with local government officials initiating performance audits, or ROI (return on investment) as they are known in private sector.” Another important role is that of drawing district lines. He believes in compact districts that benefit the voters of the district rather than special interest groups.
Next up were candidates for county offices.
Danny Davis, Rutland, is running for Meigs County Commissioner and said: “I’m a supporter of Meigs County, fully supportive of the community, if elected, I intend to keep the county going.”
Tim Ihle is running for his third term as county commissioner. He said it has taken a lot of work to get things done in the county, and referred to accomplishments that included improvements in the court house and a new dog shelter. Ihle referred to other commissioners and said it is always “we” and “I appreciate the crew I work with right now.”
“When I walked into the office eight years ago, I had no training, no mentors, no internship, just my experience, my ethics, my beliefs, my patriotism. This job is hands on everything, no on the job training, it means that whoever has this job must be prepared before you get here in every field imaginable, because on the first day, you need to be able to hit the ground running.”
Linda Warner is running for Meigs County Common Pleas Court judge, and said she is “committed to this community, family values, Christian Values, service to community, defending the constitution and individual rights.”
Her opponent, Chris Tenoglia said “I can agree with Warner on two things: there are people who like living in Meigs County and there are those who wish they did.”
Tenoglia said it was a privilege to live in the county, and something awakened in him while he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2016.
“We have some things we have to turn around,” he said. ”When I’m your judge, I’m going to take care of it, if someone comes into your house, if someone is murdered, I’m going to take care of it.”
In closing, Spaun acknowledged numerous county office holders, students from Ohio Valley Christian School, Meigs and Southern Local High Schools, and Ohio University, and everyone who had made the event happen. There were over 175 in attendance.