Russell, Balderson announce candidacy for 12th District race

Gazette Staff - [email protected]



A farmer from Delaware County and a current state legislator are the latest entries into the race for Ohio’s 12th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Galena resident John Russell announced his candidacy last weekend and State Sen. Troy Balderson announced Thursday that he is running for the seat being vacated by longtime Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa Township. Tiberi is resigning from Congress to become head of the Ohio Business Roundtable. A special election will be conducted next year to fill Tiberi’s unexpired term.

Including Russell, five men are vying for the Democratic Party nomination. The others are Ed Albertson, a Granville area businessman; John Peters, a public school teacher from Newark; Doug Wilson, a Mansfield area healthcare professional; and Zach Scott, a former Franklin County Sheriff.

“When I launched my campaign on Saturday, I made this commitment: ‘We’re going to step foot on every inch of this district because the people of this district deserve nothing less,’” Russell posted on his Facebook page. “I’m running to represent Ohio’s 12th district in Congress because I believe in the simple truth that, as the working class goes, so goes the country. As a farmer, small-business owner and native of rural Ohio, I’ve seen firsthand the importance of economic opportunity for everyone — especially those on the other side of power.

“If we want to deliver on our national promise that hard work will pay off, we have to start by electing representatives who understand what that promise really means,” he added.

Russell was unsuccessful in his bid to upset State Rep. Rick Carfagna in the 2016 election.

Balderson is the third Republican to enter the 2018 race. The other two GOP candidates are Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien and Columbus businessman Brandon Grisez.

“Congressman Tiberi is a friend who has served our district with integrity and distinction. He leaves big shoes to fill, but I promise to fight just as hard as he continues to do for Ohio families,” Balderson said in a press release issued Thursday. “During my time in the Ohio legislature, I have been a champion for a smaller, more efficient government. I have witnessed firsthand the devastation an out-of-touch Washington, DC can have on Ohio families, particularly those in the energy industry. I intend to fight for our interests, our jobs, and for a government that stays out of the way.”

A lifelong resident of southeastern Ohio, Balderson is currently serving his second term in the Ohio Senate representing the 20th District. Prior to his time in the state senate, he and his family owned and operated a farm for several generations and also owned an automotive dealership that had been in the family for three generations.

“As someone who has owned a small business, I know what it means to sign the front of a check, not just the back,” Balderson said. “I know how Obamacare is forcing employers to choose between job creation and stagnation. That’s why I intend to keep fighting to repeal Obamacare. DC-politicians may think this fight is over, but those of us living in the real-world aren’t prepared to give up on fixing our health care debacle.

“We need to send someone to Congress with a track record of getting things done by keeping their promise to voters,” he added. “I have done just that by opposing tax increases, cutting red tape, and always fighting for the little guy. While this means I’ve had to oppose some in my party, I’m fine with that if it means being true to conservative principles.”


Gazette Staff

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