Voters will be asked Nov. 6 to elect a member of Congress to represent the 2nd District.
The 2nd Congressional District includes the counties of Highland, Scioto, Pike, Ross, Pickway, Adams, Gallia, Meigs, Hocking, Jackson, Vinton, Athens, and Washington. Running in the race for this is Democratic candidate, Jill Schiller and Republican Incumbent, Brad Wenstrup.
Schiller visited Portsmouth on the Democratic bus, on October 12. Schiller spoke about things that were happening in Washington D.C. and and she directed her thoughts to the women, saying, “Our voices are not being heard.” She said she was a Union kid and how her father’s union benefits helped her family when her mom was diagnosed with Lupus. She also spoke on the fact that we need to make sure the public education system is funded. “We need to have free community college and affordable 4 year college and after that, beyond that, if you are out of work because of a dying industry or you are transitioning, we should be able to help you get that education to transit into a stable solid career. This is the American Dream, jobs, health care, and education,” Schiller said. “We have 7% unemployed in some of the counties of this district. I am here to work for you and we’re here to make sure our voices are heard in D. C., not live in D.C. and accept corporate donations that your absentee representative receives.”
In a separate interview, Schiller said, “Everybody in this district is important to me. I think we’ve been ignored in terms of economical development, we need to change out the system to something that works for everybody.”
“I do support medicare for all, especially in terms of National Emergency vs. National Medical Emergency there is a drastic difference, National Medical Emergency doesn’t come with the funding a National Emergency does. We need to re-designate this as a National Emergency,” Schiller stated.
“Secondly, we need jobs, good sustainable jobs. It’s the giving of opportunity, money for medical intervention, a real jobs plan. Then we need to look at prescription and marketing practices. We need to really look at how we prescribe and when and where.” Schiller continued discussing the opioid crisis, “As horrible as it has been, the one slightly silver lining is, I think folks are coming around like its not just a class issue, and it has happened everywhere, while it’s horrible, it does help reduce the stigma of addiction at least we’re making progress and getting a small benefit out of this horrible crisis.”
Wenstrup, the incumbent candidate, in an interview with The Portsmouth Daily Times, spoke of some of the things he has already been a part of in helping the area, like the cleaning up of the Piketon Plant and making sure each year they keep the funding of that going, and that they were able to get Rick Perry, secretary of Energy, there to see what is going on at the plant.
Wenstrup stated, “The other thing that is very important to me, that I’ve been working on, we’ve seen the explosion of the opioid problem, we’ve had the Comprehension Addiction and Recovery Act, the 21st Century Cures Act and money in government to fight this crisis. We just recently passed the support for Patients and Community Act, which was really of about 70 bills, bi-partisan, it’s more patient treatment beds , it cuts off the supply of the listed drugs, to get people into recovery, and prevent new addiction,” Wnstrup said. “But also, we have so much more opportunity to do so much more right now, because the economy is doing so well. We passed the Tax Reform Bill, which has put money in every American’s pockets, which is their money anyway. That is what is driving the economy, we now have more job openings than we have people.”
He said when you are trying to turn things around, for those who are in poverty, those recovering from addiction, or those who have just gotten out of jail, there’s got to be something there like a job or nothing changes. “I am very passionate about that.” He went on to talk about the problem that happens is that once you start succeeding, you get cut off from some programs and that leaves you worse off and that’s gotta change. Wenstrup continued, “Now is the time to do it, when the economy is good and manufacturing jobs are on the rise, vocational Schools and local community colleges are trying to fill some of the needs we have there.” Southern Ohio, in my opinion, is a great opportunity, because we have a willing work force.”
“Education to me means work force development, so you can go out and be needed so you can go to work.” Wenstrup calls this from border to work because it’s not just one particular issue to prevention it’s huge for the next generation, but in the meantime, give people opportunity at the end of the day. ‘It’s gonna take people from the local community and at the Federal level, Congress, we want to supply some of the tools that people need, so that in our communities, we can go out and help our neighbors.” He also mentioned that we need to make sure when people are getting educated, that it is something that has a job at the end of it. He said that success to him, doesn’t mean a piece of paper, it means that you can go out and be self sufficient and take care of you and your family.
Wenstrup says in the three terms he has served, he has seen a lot of changes, where he came in at a time when things were not good as far as trying to come out of a recession and the opioid and heroin crisis grow more and more and that it’s interesting that what he is seeing now, the local communities are taking charge and saying, ‘we’re going to change this.’
Wenstrup joined the Army Reserve in 1998, because he said that he saw the country kept getting attacked. In 2005 and 2006, he was the Chief of Surgery at an Iraqi Prison. He added that not only was he assigned to take care of our troops, but also all of the enemy combatants, which he said they were busy. Then, he returned home and he gave a couple of talks about hs tour and he kept getting asked to speak and people kept saying to him that he should run for office.
Wenstrup finished with this about his office, “One of the things I always like to remind people of, is the constituent service that we do. If you are having trouble with the IRS, or the VA or any federal agency like that, and you are not getting through to somebody, please give us a call. It doesn’t matter, Republican or Democrat, we’re there to serve the people and try and get results on issues that you may be having, I think sometimes, people don’t know that. It’s an honor to represent the people of the 2nd District of Ohio, it really is.“
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928