Delaware resident John Baumeister is running against incumbent Patrick Tiberi, R-Genoa Township, who is seeking re-election Nov. 8 for the 12th Congressional District seat in the the U.S. House.
Baumeister is a write-in candidate. Tiberi has served in that seat since 2000.
Baumeister is a self-funded candidate who has been printing fliers in his home office, knocking on doors and talking to people. “Every day I’m learning something new,” he said.
Officials of the Franklin County Board of Elections confirmed that Baumeister is a Republican write-in candidate for the seat. His name will not appear on ballots.
Baumeister said he is not happy with how business is being handled by the current representation in Washington, D.C.
“I would like to see someone working on the issues, instead of fundraising,” he said. “We have professional politicians which I can understand … but you have to remember who you are really representing.”
The district is comprised of Delaware, Licking, and Morrow counties and portions of Franklin, Marion, Muskingum and Richland counties.
“I had a (military) service member who is stationed out in Washington state that called me and had some questions,” Baumeister said. “He said, ‘I don’t like what’s going on and could you answer a couple of questions for me I couldn’t find on your website,’” he said.
“People care what’s going on here even when they’re not here,” Baumeister said.
If a politician has a special interest and wants to help in that field, “terrific, but that shouldn’t take precedence because they give you a million dollars,” Baumeister said. “You need to be able to say to your donors that doesn’t benefit my constituents. First and foremost, you’re suppose to be representing your constituents who sent you (to office).”
Baumeister said people are surprised when he returns their call.
“If (politicians) weren’t spending four and five hours a day fund raising then maybe they could get to some of those calls,” he said. “Sometimes just knowing somebody is there listening and cares is enough.”
Baumeister, 54, is a lifelong Ohio resident who has lived most of his life in Hilliard. He and his family moved to Delaware three years ago.
He owns an event service called “Ten Speeds Productions,” working with sponsors of marathons, bicycle races and other types of events.
Baumeister volunteers to tutor at-risk kids. “I try to get them to understand the importance of education,” he said.
Tiberi is the son of Italian immigrants, the oldest of three children and a life-long resident of the district.
According to his web site, since entering the U.S. House Tiberi “has worked to further policies seeking a smaller, less intrusive government, lower taxes, greater national security and a growing and expanding economy that creates jobs.”
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.