Four candidates vie for congressional seat


MIAMI COUNTY — Voters in Ohio’s 8th congressional district will take to the polls on Tuesday, March 17, to determine which two candidates for Congress will represent the Republican and Democratic parties in the general election later this year.

Within the Republican party, Edward Meer, of West Chester, is up against incumbent U.S. Rep Warren Davidson, and for the Democratic party, Matt Guyette, of Greenville, is up against Dr. Vanessa Enoch, of West Chester.

Davidson assumed office as member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio’s 8th congressional district in June of 2016, having been preceded by John Boehner. In November of 2018, Davidson defeated Enoch in the general election.

The winning candidates from March 17’s primary election will go head to head during the general election on Nov. 3, the winner of which will serve a two-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2021.

Candidate Enoch currently works as a management and public policy consultant. She is president and CEO of Vision Works, Inc., a non-profit organization, and the program director for the Cincinnati Trauma Centers. She has also owned Cultural Impact, LLC, a management and political consulting firm, for the past 20 years.

Though she has never held public office, Enoch said she has worked on and advised 27 campaigns at every level of governance, including school boards, judicial races, city council races, mayoral and commissioners races, and state and federal campaigns.

Her experience in public service includes working on a juvenile justice task force and working to end mass incarceration in Cincinnati through the Coalition for a Just Hamilton County. Enoch was also formerly a chemical dependency and family counselor.

Enoch said she believes all Americans should have equal access and opportunity to succeed, no matter their background and socioeconomic status.

“I’m running because I understand and care about the issues that average working families in the 8th district face,” Enoch said. “It bothers me when I drive across the 8th district and meet families where there are two parents living in the home, and not making enough to meet basic food, housing and health care needs.”

If elected, Enoch’s top three priorities are economic development, providing affordable healthcare, and saving Social Security.

According to Enoch, the 8th congressional district has been “under-served” by self-interested politicians, who have served to protect big corporations, big banks, big pharma, and large commercial farmers.

“I believe the people of the district deserve better outcomes,” Enoch said. “The median household income in our district is below the national median income, and this has not improved under current leadership. It is time for representation of the people, for the people, by the people.”

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Candidate Meer works full-time as a printer, along with attending school full-time.

Meer said he is running for Congress because he believes Ohio needs a representative who is able to see problems and deal with them head on without letting party affiliation get in the way.

“I care about my fellow Americans and will put them before party and donors every day of the week,” Meer said.

Important issues in need of addressing, Meer said, include “the trade war that has hurt our farmers,” the country’s deficit, health care, and abortion.

If elected, Meer said, he would work to get funding to go toward upgrades to the FBI background check system and to “re-write 1964 laws on fire arms to include modern designs, so they can’t be banned.”

Meer said he has a healthcare plan “to go up against Bernie’s Medicare for all,” and a plan to end abortions within 20 years, along with a plan to cut the deficit and create a new tax code, which will include tax-free overtime for hourly employees and will allow for ”the rich to pay their fair share.”

“To cut the deficit, I will use people like ‘AOC and the squad’ to tell Trump his golfing is costing us too much, as I force a balanced budget in Congress,” Meer said. “It will hurt, but Americans are doing it every day and government needs to know our pain.”

Meer said there is inaction that needs to be addressed within the 8th congressional district.

“The complete lack of any real action by Warren Davidson has put our district and the entire country in danger,” he said. “The warning signs are out there and he is blind to them.”

For more information, visit Edward R Meer for Ohio 8th district on Facebook.

Candidate Matt Guyette works as a historian and visitor guide, having lived and worked in the nation’s capital for 20 years.

According to Guyette, the Republican party has become “the party of Trump,” at the cost of credibility and principles.

“Republicans in Congress are supposed to fulfill their oversight responsibility as a check on the tendencies of an imperial president like Trump,” Guyette said. “They have instead been willing accomplices in his attacks on the impeachment effort, which sought to hold him to account for his lawless and corrupt behavior.”

Issues important to Guyette, in terms of how he would lead if he were to win the seat, include agriculture, debt and deficit, healthcare, the environment, and diplomacy, along with several social issues, including abortion and support for families, crime, and addiction.

“Southwestern Ohio is one of the most fertile and high-producing agricultural regions in the world, unfortunately, a set of precipitous and ill-considered trade policies and tariffs enacted by this administration have caused great distress in this vital economic sector,” Guyette said. “The congressional representative of Ohio’s 8th district in Washington must spend more time and effort protecting our agricultural sector from bad policy decisions and a go-it-alone strategy, which has only benefited our global competitors.”

With the topic of addiction, which is a growing problem throughout southwest Ohio and the nation, Guyette said the “Drug War” has been a massive and expensive failure.

“Drug use has reached epidemic levels here in southwest Ohio,” he said. “We need a revolution in the way we think about and treat depression and mental illness. We have to treat the spiritual, emotional and physical components of drug and alcohol addiction in order to achieve solutions which are real and lasting.”

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Incumbent candidate Davidson currently serves as U.S. Representative for the 8th congressional district, along with being a business owner. A former Army Ranger, Davidson said he loves this country with “a soldier’s passion.”

“It is an honor to represent Ohio’s 8th district in Congress with the same spirit that motivated by time in uniform,” he said.

After his time in the Army, Davidson said he returned to Ohio and spent 15 years starting, acquiring and growing manufacturing companies.

“With substantial business experience, I have been able to provide significant input on federal policy from tax reform, to trade, to financial markets, and more,” Davidson said. “My combination of education, service, and experience have equipped me to make a difference in Congress.”

Davidson said his goals for office, if re-elected, include focusing on Bill of Rights issues “that are under attack,” passing a comprehensive privacy bill and reforming the FISA program to end warrantless surveillance of American citizens, protecting religious freedom, free speech and free press, defending the second amendment “ongoing infringement efforts,” ending civil asset forfeiture, spending reform to balance the budget by lowering spending, and healthcare reform.

”Someone who will meet with the people of the district and fight for their interests and values in Washington, D.C.,” Davidson said of the greatest need to be addressed in the 8th district congressional seat. “I will continue to be active in the district and listen to the concerns of the people I have the privilege of representing.”

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By Aimee Hancock

Miami Valley Today

Reach the writer at [email protected]. © 2020 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.

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