Democrats gearing up for 12th District House race

Two Licking County residents will try to unseat a longtime Republican congressman from Delaware County in 2018.

John Peters of Newark and Ed Albertson of Granville have each declared their intention to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for Ohio’s 12th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa Township, has held that chair in Congress since 2001. Since 1901, Republicans have controlled Ohio’s 12th District seat for a total of 102 years.

Peters, who works for Newark City Schools, said this is the first time he has sought public office at any level. He said he’s running because he’s witnessed families in the 12th District struggling financially. Peters is an advocate for a $15 per hour minimum wage nationally.

“We’ve got parents that are so stressed and pulled apart from economic conditions where they cannot support themselves; they can’t pay their bills,” said Peters, a husband and father of two young daughters. “… We should be ashamed ourselves that we don’t respect families enough in this district to make sure that they make enough money to support their families. … Our families need to make at minimum $15 an hour.”

Peters said he believes one of the factors related to the opioid epidemic in Ohio is because people are not able to provide for their families financially.

“What we’re seeing right now with the heroin and opioid epidemic is people and families breaking,” he said. “They are breaking because they can’t make enough money.”

Peters noted that he was opposed to President Donald Trump’s recent decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. He said he doesn’t believe that the presence of U.S. military personnel in the Middle East has made the world any safer.

Albertson ran against Tiberi and Green Party candidate Joe Manchik in 2016, an election that Tiberi won easily after garnering 66.6 percent of the vote. Albertson received 29.8 percent and Manchik collected 3.6 percent of the votes.

“Our nation, our State and our communities in the 12th District are facing many complicated issues related to livable-wage jobs, health, drug addiction, burdensome education loans and our economy,” Albertson said on his campaign website. “We need leaders with knowledge and experiences who care about all our people and who will work towards common-sense solutions to our critical problems.”

Both Peters and Albertson have been critical of Tiberi, saying he receives campaign contributions from “big money donors.”

“The sad truth of politics today is that there is too much money sloshing around in the process, influencing decisions and impeding progress for the good of all of us,” Albertson said on his campaign website.

Tiberi will face opposition from at least one other candidate in the 2018 Republican primary. Brandon Grisez of Columbus, an account manager at Tailored Management, announced his candidacy earlier this summer.

Ohio’s 12th District includes all of Delaware, Licking, and Morrow counties as well as portions of Franklin, Marion, Muskingum, and Richland counties.

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By Andrew Carter

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Contact Andrew Carter via email and follow him on Twitter @DelOhioEditor.