XENIA — Candidates in contested Greene County races had a chance to win over voters during a candidates forum earlier this week.
Sponsored by the Greene County Tea Party, challengers and incumbents for U.S. Congress (10th District) and Ohio state representative (73rd district) were given three minutes to make their case.
In the U.S. Congress race, current Congressman Mike Turner (R-Dayton) is being challenged by fellow Republicans John Anderson and Kathi Flanders. Democrats Eric Moyer and Desiree Tims were invited but did not respond, according to moderator Carolyn Uecker.
Anderson said he is running for the fifth time and mentioned his 30-point contract on his website. He said the national debt is “out of control” and the country is borrowing nearly $2 million a minute.
“The current system is failing you,” he said. “Both parties.”
Anderson said he will not “kick the can down the road.”
“I will be the most conservative person ever elected,” he said.
Walking to the podium waving a Trump flag, Flanders echoed Anderson’s monetary concern.
“I too am very upset with the national debt,” she said. “It’s unsustainable.”
Flanders said $500 billion a year in interest is being wasted when it can be used for other issues. She also touched on several other hot items including immigration reform, guns and the work force.
“The Republicans … their idea is to raise the age of retirement,” Flanders said. “I’m sorry, 67 years is long enough to work.”
She called “red flag” laws unconstitutional and said that the country should use its money to take care of it’s own residents first, then use it on immigrants.
Mason Di Palma, Turner’s campaign manager, spoke on his behalf.
“We care about our country, we care about the values that make us the greatest democracy,” Di Palma said. He said the country is under attack from Washington Democrats who “wasted your time” trying to impeach President Trump.
“They tried to take away your vote, folks,” Di Palma said, adding that if it wasn’t for Turner calling out Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Adam Schiff Trump could have gotten impeached.
Di Palma called Wright-Patterson Air Force Base one of the “gems” of the community and that the base added more than 10,000 jobs under Turner. He said more than 30,000 work at the base, which is the highest in years.
“The choice is pretty clear here, folks.” Di Palma said. “You know him well.”
Republicans John Broughton and Brian Lampton and Democrat Kim McCarthy are running for the District 73 seat, which is open due to term limits on sitting Rep. Rick Perales.
Broughton said he planned to speak about his 40 years of involvement in the community but instead of focused on a mailer that said he had a liberal record and had tax liens on him.
“I am far from liberal,” he said. “They got the wrong John Broughton.”
He said he has two of the highest credit cards available and his house is paid off.
“This is PAC money,” he said. “All the sudden we’ve been elevated to outside influence.”
He said he never asked people to bring money, only bring support for conservatism.
“I’ve always been dedicated to the party and dedicated to doing the right thing,” Broughton said.
Lampton said he has spent 30 years in the community as a businessowner and a volunteer.
“I believe I know the issues that are important for the area,” he said.
On his agenda are protecting WPAFB, bring good-paying jobs to the area, and solve the opioid epidemic. Lampton said he supports the right for law-abiding citizens to bare arms and would like to see mental health services available to all Ohioans, and would like to see schools teach how to manage mental distress.
Another agenda item is to cut unfunded state mandates and state testing in the schools.
“So teachers can teach,” he said.
He added that he is the only Right to Life endorsed candidate in this race.
McCarthy was unavailable to attend, Uecker said.
A story recapping the state central committee (10th district, female), and coroner races will appear Saturday.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.