Incumbent Troy Balderson is running against challenger Tim Day in the Republican primary for the Ohio 12th Congressional District.
Balderson, of Zanesville, is seeking his second term. He originally finished out the unexpired term of Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa. In November 2018, he was elected to his first full term to Congress, which expires on Jan. 3, 2021. He is currently serving on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; House Science, Space, and Technology Committee; the House Small Business Committee; and as a ranking member of the Innovation and Workforce Subcommittee.
An announcement for his reelection campaign states, “Balderson was an advocate for tax reform that helped ignite America’s struggling economy. He cut taxes in Ohio, balanced the state budget, and has spent his first term in Congress fighting to solve problems that keep families from benefiting from America’s historic prosperity. He promised to stand up to those trying to revert to policies that stifle prosperity.”
“America’s economy is heading in the right direction: taxes are down, jobs are up, and wages are rising,” Balderson is quoted as saying in the announcement. “These things all make a big impact in the lives of Ohioans, but as a country, we need to stop the partisan bickering and come together.”
According to his website, Balderson is gaining a reputation as someone who supports ideas such as the United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement (UMCA); pay raises for the military; and 30 other pieces of legislation that have passed at least one chamber of Congress. Congressional bills backed by Balderson that have become law include one that creates Science Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) apprenticeship programs.
Locally, he announced at the Delaware County Emergency Management Agency a public-private partnership to provide central Ohio first responders with nearly 1,000 Public Safety Drop Kits.
Recently, Balderson joined local representatives Joyce Beatty (D) and Steve Stivers (R) in signing a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao supporting the Ohio Department of Transportation’s grant for the next phase of the Columbus Crossroads project. This would add lanes in each direction on Interstates 70 and 71, eliminating two-thirds of the current lane changes.
If elected to a second term, Balderson promises to continue to solve problems and try to build bridges that unite people, rather than divide them.
“In Washington, there are far too many politicians whose lust for power is greater than their love of country,” Balderson states in his reelection announcement. “They’ve lost sight of our primary mission: to serve families and solve problems. As I’ve done since taking office, I will work each day to help the people of Ohio.”
Tim Day’s website said he is 37-year member and chief master sergeant in the United States Air Force, as well as a veteran of both the War in Afghanistan and the War in Iraq, serving multiple deployments abroad to the Middle East and beyond. He also worked for United Parcel Service for more than 25 years.
In response to The Gazette, Day said during a deployment to Afghanistan in 2010-2011, his fellow airmen and soldiers grew increasingly concerned about a budget impasse in Congress keeping them from getting paid. He joked about running for Congress and fixing it.
“It’s been 10 years and Congress is still more dysfunctional and divided now as they were then,” Day writes. “The ability to have honest conversations to do what is right for the American people and the families of the 12th Congressional District is more important now than ever, and I believe I am that person.”
Day said he has five issues that would be top priority.
Government efficiency, which means “holding our elected officials accountable” by “tackling today’s most pressing issues” was what he listed first.
“I have also been blessed to have a long career with the military and understand what it takes to work together to accomplish a goal,” Day said. “The number of veterans in Congress is at an all-time low, and I believe veterans bring a pragmatic approach to tackle difficult issues working for a common cause.”
Here were the other issues:
“Affordable Healthcare that gives patients choices while lowering costs through competition and protecting those who are most vulnerable. A strong military that protects American interests, veterans, service members and their families. I could talk about all of these at length but the most important pressing issue is reducing the number of suicides amongst veterans.
“We need to address broadband access for rural communities to ensure that they have the same opportunity as populated areas. I believe this is becoming more of an issue as we identify risks associated with the COVID-19 virus. If rural schools are impacted, then the ability to have an on-line collaborative environment has to be an option to ensure our kids are getting the proper education.
“We need to reduce regulatory burdens on business to ensure that we have viable jobs that provide good pay and security to the people of the 12th district.”
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/NewDayForOhio/ or timdayforcongress.com.
Ohio’s 12th Congressional District includes all or parts of Delaware, Franklin, Licking, Marion, Morrow, Muskingum and Richland counties.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.