The race for the Democratic nomination for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District (contains portion of Delaware County east of Interstate 71) is between Michael Fletcher and Amy Rippel-Elton. Early voting started on April 5 and will conclude May 2. The winner of the primary election on May 3 will face either incumbent Troy Balderson or challenger Brandon Lape, both Republicans, in the general election Nov. 8.
The Gazette examined social media for the candidates and has put together brief profiles based on that information.
Michael Fletcher — Ballotpedia’s biography of Fletcher said he “was born in Athens, Ohio. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University in 1980. Fletcher’s career experience includes working in real estate, retirement planning, securities, and sales, and as a main frame computer operator and floor mechanic … Incumbent Frank Hoagland defeated Michael Fletcher in the general election for Ohio State Senate District 30 on November 3, 2020.”
For that 2020 race, Fletcher responded to questions from the website demcastusa.com. When asked what he thought the biggest issue facing his community was, Fletcher said at that time, “I’m not convinced that there is one biggest issue. Many believe that although our economy has supposedly been strong for a while, we, the people, are on the precipice of disaster. It’s time to reinvest in our infrastructures, our health and methods of caring for one another, the education of our youth and so much more. Many things we take for granted are changing much faster than most people realize. I aim to help us manage and adapt.”
When asked why he was running for office, Fletcher said, “As a child I pledged to do my best to do my duty to God and Country; to help other people at all times. As a teen I became a part of a ‘brotherhood of cheerful service,’ as a young man I became part of a fraternity whose Christian ideals taught ‘not without labor’ and later I became part of a society whose principles are built on ‘service to the people’ and a Christian who believes in the teaching that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us. This is who I am, who I have always been. At this stage of my life, I am able to better serve my community and to do the job which most others do not wish to do. I am willing to take on the task which others say I’m crazy for doing. I believe I can help bring the people back together and lead us to build a better place for the next generation. I believe I must try.”
To fix the partisan divide in our country, Fletcher said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That is a proactive instruction. As a people it’s time we remembered a few lessons like that one. We need to listen more, speak to one another with civility; seek and build on our common ground. Our nation has been perceived as great because we’ve had the spirit and will to edify each other; to help lift one another up more than we tear each other down. Some may have forgotten those lessons. It’s time we remembered again that greatness does not mean to elevate our own persons but to be the good servant and good steward of that which is given to us.”
Amy Rippel Elton — Rippel lives in Newark. She has a Facebook page whose intro reads, “Preparing for Congressional Race.” She does not have a campaign site.
Ballotpedia said Alaina Shearer is a withdrawn or disqualified candidate. She received 41.8% of the vote in a loss to Balderson in the 2020 general election.
Ohio’s 12th Congressional District is comprised of parts of Delaware, Holmes and Tuscarawas counties, as well as all of Knox, Licking, Fairfield, Perry, Athens, Morgan, Muskingum, Coshocton and Guernsey counties.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.