Next month’s primary election ballot will include two Democratic candidates vying to oppose Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) for Ohio’s 4th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Tamie Wilson and Jeff Sites, both newcomers to the political arena, are running on platforms that express a call to action in the face of continued disappointment from elected officials.
Wilson, a Delaware resident, said she decided to run for a seat in Congress for several reasons, particularly because of the division she sees around the country.
“Our government is not working for us anymore,” she told The Gazette. “In 2019, I launched a new business, and in 2020, COVID-19 hit and I had to shut it down. I lost a ton of money, and I wasn’t able to recoup that money because of the parameters that our wonderful government put on the PPP loans. I just felt that our government, although somewhat seemingly well-intended, is just too far removed from how its policies are actually affecting the average person.”
Wilson said that throughout her campaign, she has met other business owners who feel much like she does.
“All of the politicians always say that small business is the backbone of America, but when it really comes to supporting small businesses, they don’t. That’s especially true if it’s a minority-owned or woman-owned business, and I am both … With COVID-19, you have these huge corporations that are redecorating and opening new branches. I’m just a mom trying to put food on the table and I’m like, ‘Can I get some help over here?’ It just ticks me off.’”
Wilson also pointed to the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as a personal call to action. While she acknowledged the different viewpoints people may have on the intent of those who stormed the Capitol, Wilson said that moments like that underline the disconnect in America.
“We cannot continue down the angry, divisive, hate-driven road,” she said. “It is not going to get us anywhere positive. We have to unite as a country, we have to listen to each other, and be able to disagree. At the end of the day, we all want the same thing. We want to be able to live a good life, we want our children to have a good life and have a good future. We all want to live the American dream, and for a lot of people, it’s the American nightmare right now. I just really want to help people.”
Wilson said she feels that Jordan has “turned his back to his district” and “doesn’t do anything to help anyone.” However, as a self-proclaimed “go-getter” and “action-taker,” Wilson said she has a set list of plans she hopes to be able to accomplish if elected. A life and business coach by profession, Wilson believes the skills she utilizes in her career will help in taking a different — and ultimately productive — approach to solving problems.
“He’s not written any legislation in the 15 years he’s been there,” she said of Jordan. “He moves against stuff that would help his people. A lot of this district are farmers, and he voted against the Farm Bill because, what, (the building of) the wall? I’ve looked at the statistics and only 1% of Ohioans really care about immigration. They don’t really care.”
Wilson added of the importance of immigration, or lack thereof, to Ohioans, “If you want to blame immigration on the drugs in our country, let’s talk about addiction in our country. Where did that really come from? If we cure the addiction problem, they won’t have any customers and will go out of business and go elsewhere. We really need to look at problems differently.”
Speaking on the perceived gun crisis in the country, Wilson stated she feels the crisis can be boiled down to a mental health crisis more than a need for stricter laws to be put in place.
“Our gun issue is not a gun law issue, it is a crazy, angry, scared people issue,” Wilson said. “It is a mental health issue as far as I’m concerned. Yes, we need to have common-sense gun laws. Yes, we need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. We need to keep them out of the hands of crazy people, for lack of a better term, and those who are mentally disturbed.”
Wilson went on to say of the mental health crisis, “Domestic abuse is another hot button issue for me. We don’t do anything to treat abusers. We need to treat abusers to get them to stop abusing. Abusers are usually children of abuse, so that’s something we need to cure. We need to cure the family unit.”
Like Wilson, Sites has grown increasingly displeased with the career politicians pulling the strings of the country. On his website, Sites said he never would have dreamed of running for office until a few years ago. However, he is tired of hearing politicians talk about how tough life has become for the average American while never seeing any tangible progress made to improve those lives.
“If things are ever going to change, we need the voices of real working folks in Congress, people who share our values and our worries,” he said in a statement.
Born and raised in Lima, Ohio, Sites said the foundation he is running on is to allow for his child to have a better life than he did, which he feels is a universal goal for everyone in the country. “That’s the American dream,” he said.
Sites believes obtaining that dream has never been more difficult, with fewer opportunities available to the working class and the challenges continuing to mount. With the current representation doing nothing to benefit the masses, Sites said change can only come through action.
“I see Jim Jordan and professional politicians like him more focused on their own self-interest and the needs of billionaires than on fixing any of it. I believe that it’s our duty to stand up for what’s right instead of standing by and watching. That’s what I’m doing now,” he stated.
He added, “I want to go to Washington and fight for what we really need — good jobs, affordable health care, and the chance to give our kids a fair shot at a good life. Isn’t it about time we had congressmen who did?”
Ohio’s 4th Congressional District is comprised of portions of Delaware (west of Interstate 70), Wyandot and Shelby counties, as well as all of Auglaize, Allen, Hardin, Logan, Champaign, Union, Marion, Morrow, Richland and Ashland counties.
Editor’s note: The Gazette reached out to Sites’ campaign for additional comments, but as of press time, The Gazette had yet to hear back from Sites.