On Thursday night, the local Republican Central Committee hosted a candidates’ event for Republicans who are running opposed in the March 17 primary election.
Running for Fayette County Commissioner are Tony Anderson and Donald Fleak. Current commissioner Dan Dean is running for re-election however, he is running unopposed.
During the event, which was held at the Center for Economic Opportunity in Washington C.H., Anderson handed out a paper which listed information pertaining to his background.
This information provided him “the opportunity to serve in a lot of different settings.” Those settings, according to Anderson, essentially let him gain knowledge in working with people and policies.
As Anderson is currently a commissioner who is running for re-election, he also touched on his experience gained from already holding the position.
“I’ve not looked at any part of this county differently than any other part of this county. If the deal looks like it’s a good deal for the county, we try to pursue the deal whatever it is,” he said.
Anderson said he is also proud of trying to have open and honest communication as honesty is important to him, especially when discussing the county budget as “it’s taxpayers’ money, it’s not our money.”
“On the jail, I’m extremely happy that the county has supported us in moving forward with building a jail,” said Anderson. “We did save during the process of asking the service to be provided that we would look for every opportunity for funding. We are now working with state legislature to get some other opportunities presented to us.”
Anderson then thanked everyone for the last “17 years” and for various accomplishments such as the new local school buildings.
Fleak gave his background during his speech which includes living in Bloomingburg, having local ties and working in the drainage business.
He spoke of his small business and how he decided to get involved in politics starting with Bloomingburg council. He then stepped in as mayor in 2019. With that experience, he explained he has an idea about regulations, trying to get things done when met with resistance, and trying to get things done when there is low funding and no local businesses to help generate funding.
Fleak also explained that he would like to improve transparency with information being put online and to help different villages gain more funding as “the money seems to always go to the same place and the little guy seems to be forgotten.”
“I just want to be a commissioner, I want to serve Fayette County as a whole and try to make things better,” he said.
Running for 10th Congressional District are John Anderson, Kathi Flanders and Congressman Mike Turner, who is running for reelection. Anderson and Turner were not present at the meeting, although Turner did have a representative in attendance.
Flanders spoke on various topics with a focus on money and the national debt, including a mention that Congress does not understand the value of money and that services such as social security are lessening. She explained that Democrats want to solve the problem by raising taxes and Republicans want to solve it by raising the retirement age. She said that she thinks they need to reduce spending.
Flanders also expressed her belief that sanctuary cities should have all funding to them stopped. She explained she is not anti-immigrant but “is for taking care of us first.”
Throughout her speech, Flanders essentially explained she is against red-flag laws because they are against the Constitution and the focus should be on mental health. She also mentioned needing to invest in trade and tech schools beginning in middle and high school, increase tax breaks for new businesses and focus on helping existing big businesses to grow.
Standing in to represent Turner was Frank DeBrosse, Turner’s district director and campaign manager.
DeBrosse began by thanking everyone for their efforts in helping Republicans to get elected.
During his speech, DeBrosse touched on the impeachment process of President Trump, tax reform and the North American Free Trade Agreement which he said is now out of the House and in the Senate.
According to DeBrosse, Turner’s major interest “first and foremost is national security—that’s obviously a big deal right now with the Iranian situation.”
Running for the 15th Congressional District are Shelby Hunt and Congressman Steve Stivers.
“The primary reason for me running is that I’m a concerned citizen of faith,” said Hunt.
Hunt said he believes the reason behind so many problems the country is facing is because “we need to get back to Christian values.” Although healthcare used to be philanthropic, Hunt said it is now only in name.
Hunt said he “would like to convene religious leaders and groups of religious leaders and find out how we can get back to those old systems and get the church more directly involved with providing healthcare once again.”
Hunt also touched on immigration and said that his grandparents came from Mexico the “proper” way.
“They stressed in me the value of being an American citizen, and I’m not a hyphenated American either. They stressed that I was an American only,” he said. “I’m not a Mexican-American, I’m not a Hispanic-American. I’m an American and these are the things I think we need to get back to.”
Hunt explained he doesn’t have a legal background but has been a police officer for several years and a volunteer firefighter. He currently owns a small business that offers different media services and said he has personally seen the bias that exists in media—that there are conservatives that exist within the organizations that are afraid to say anything.
Stivers was not physically present but had a representative, Wil Loyd, call him on a cell phone so he could speak to the audience on speaker.
Stivers thanked those present to allow him to speak with everyone. He discussed his history in different organizations, education, government and military.
“Why I’m the best candidate—I think I share your beliefs number one,” said Stivers. “Number two, I’m prepared for this job and number three, what I’ll do. I’m a capitalist, I’m pro-life, I’ve been endorsed by the Ohio National Right to Life in my last six elections, I’m pro-gun, I’m a concealed-carry holder, I’m an NRA member, I’m pro-freedom, I support the President and I’m a capitalist.”
Running for the 92nd Ohio House District is Mark Johnson. Although Caleb Johnson was running against Mark, Caleb announced his intent Thursday to suspend his campaign during his speech and endorsed Mark. Caleb Johnson is a member of the Washington C.H. City Council.
“In 2020 we also saw on the Democrat side someone run for the House of Representatives in the 92nd Distract, Beth Workman. Now Beth Workman, of course, is raising the normal leftist battle cries of gun control and climate change and she doesn’t want you to have any say in where your kids should go to school either, and that is not good for this area,” said Caleb. “It’s with that in mind that I have decided to suspend my campaign for the 92nd House District. That’s a hard decision however, I do believe that a unified, Republican voice is important for this district.”
Mark Johnson expressed that the turn of events was unexpected and that he needed to alter his planned speech for the evening, giving compliments to Caleb. He also spoke of how he got to where he is and his past in construction work.
“I am a man of faith,” said Mark. “My faith is what makes me what I am. I’ve had a concealed-carry permit from the day that law was passed.”
He said that freedoms are under attack nationally and that he is friends with people on the Trump campaign. He then also spoke of his Democratic opponent and needing to “expose her for what she is—you know, it’s the Bernie Sanders’ type. You know, the environmental.”
Johnson explained he has been visiting township trustees and will continue to do so as he wants to be visible within the community.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.