PDT Staff Writer
Among the many local and federal races up for grabs on Tuesday, Rep. Jean Schmidt hopes to retain her seat in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District against three other candidates: Democrat Victoria Wulsin, independent David Krikorian, and write-in candidate James Condit Jr.
Bruce Pfaff, a spokesperson for Schmidt's campaign, said the economy and jobs were the "top two issues" of the election, and also energy independence.
"This is now the opportunity, when people aren't being pressured by gas prices, that Congress needs to come up with a strategy to make the U.S. energy independent," Pfaff said. "Also, the rescue package that passed last month is starting to show some loosening of the credit markets so that businesses on Main Street will have the capital they need to keep people employed, and hopefully help fuel the economy as we're hoping the turn around comes later this year or next year."
Pfaff said Schmidt has had "numerous successes" during her time in office, pointing to her authorization of the nutritional education program through the farm bill that helped families on government assistance programs. He also pointed out her support of the Tarmac Delay Legislation Act, which he said addresses problems with tarmac delays; and her support of levy inventory legislation.
"This is probably very important in that part of the district (Scioto County) where the river impacts and is part of daily lives of folks. For the first time in this nation's history, the Army Corps. of Engineers are actually inventorying levies and what conditions those levies are in, and ranking the need for addressing any concerns those levies might have in being fortified or rebuilt, or built-up," he said.
Pfaff praised Schmidt for passing these acts while part of the minority party, by working with politicians in both parties. He also credited Schmidt for her work to award earned metals to veterans.
Also running in this election is the democratic candidate for office Victoria Wulsin.
"I am running for Congress because I believe that government in Washington should be accountable to the people again and that means we need leaders who tell the truth and play by the rules," Wulsin said. "I've seen what happens when families in Southern Ohio do not have a representative who is accountable to them."
Wulsin said she wants to make health care affordable and accessible for all by expanding programs like Medicare, VA health centers and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. She was an early supporter of the Portsmouth City Center and Justice Center projects, and is the only candidate who has endorsed it.
She said she also wants to lower taxes, eliminate wasteful government spending and balance the budget.
"If families in Scioto County can balance their checkbooks at the kitchen table, they should be able to do it in Washington," she said.
This year a non-party Independent candidate, David Krikorian, is also in running for 2nd District Office.
"He's running as an independent, so he only represents the people of our district, not a political party. It's a big first. He doesn't take any money from special interests groups or political action committee, so he is only beholden to the people of the district," said Jon Price, field director for the Krikorian Campaign.
Price said Krikorian's background as a small-business owner gives him the experience needed to deal with economics and finance.
"He's the only person in this race with the background to handle this enormous financial crisis we're in," Price said, noting Krikorian's college degree in economics and finance, and his master's degree in business administration.
He called Wulsin a "nice person" but said she proved in 2006 she can't beat Schmidt in a conservative district.
"Politico, the news magazine, has said we have the most clear-path to victory of any independent or third-party candidate running in any federal office in the country. We are going to make history on Tuesday, buy running and winning as an independent," Price said.
James Condit, Jr., is also running as a write-in candidate, but contact information for Condit was not available.
For more information on the candidates and their positions on the issues, visit their individual Web sites at www.jeanschmidt.com, wulsinforcongress.com and www.krikorianforcongress.com.