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Four candidates from across the political spectrum have filed for the 2014 May primary races for the U.S. House of Representative's seat for Ohio's 14th district, with sitting Congressman David Joyce (R, Ohio-14) looking to defend the position he was elected to in 2012.
Challenging Joyce in the Republican primary will be Republican candidate Matthew Lynch; Libertarian hopeful David Macko and Democratic candidate Michael Wager also filed for their respective primaries. All four candidates filed petitions with the Lake County Board of Elections prior to the Feb. 5 filing deadline.
As incumbent, Joyce, 56, of Music Street in Russell Township, said he plans to push for reelection on his record of support for cutting "wasteful" government spending and returning jobs to Ohio.
"I've fought to get Washington on a budget, repeal the Affordable Care Act, and improve the economy so we can bring more jobs back to Northeast Ohio," Joyce said. "We have to create an environment in which businesses feel like they have certainty and the ability to hire. A big part of that certainty is addressing our massive debt. I have a bill that will cut $200 billion in wasteful government programs because I believe if we owe less, we own more of our future."
Joyce also stressed the importance of improving scientific, technical and engineering-based job training for Ohioans and protections for the environmental health of the Great Lakes area -- specifically the Asian carp problem.
"I also think we need to protect the Great Lakes for their environmental integrity and economic might," Joyce said. "The Great Lakes are directly connected to 1.5 million jobs and $62 billion in wages. That's real money in American families' pockets. I've introduced a bill that would ensure the Great Lakes remain an economic powerhouse for our region."
Wager, 62, of Ridgecreek Trail in Moreland Hills, is a practicing lawyer and has taught courses on policy and politics at Case Western Reserve University. Wager said he hopes to focus on negotiation and compromise if elected, values he feels are lacking in Washington. He also supports an increase to the federal minimum wage and his platform includes plans to address joblessness and unemployment in Ohio and the nation.
"I think one of the pivotal issues of our time, which gets talked about too rarely, is the fact that we have 35 million Americans who are underemployed or unemployed," Wager said. "[Joyce] has not been very vocal about it since [campaigning] and the 113th Congress has never had a jobs bill, it has never had any significant new investment legislation, which would create jobs, and Dave Joyce is silent on increasing the federal minimum wage.
"We need federal programs to make the investment with the private sector and I'd like to see a national infrastructure investment program to at least address the critical needs of roads, ports, water systems, waste water systems," Wager added. "That has the potential to put to work 2.5 million people."
Lynch, 62, of Sugar Hill Trail in Bainbridge Township, is an attorney, current representative for District 76 of Ohio's House of Representatives and Republican candidate for the District 14 seat. He said the incumbent too often bows to pressure from left wing opponents and liberal Republican leaders alike when voting on state and national issues.
"He has voted with the establishment since day one and we need independent thinkers in Washington," Lynch said of Joyce. "We need the kind of individual who's going to stand up not simply to the Democratic party, but also stand up to the Republican party leadership when they're going down the wrong path. I'm prepared to do that and I don't think our current representative is prepared to do that."
Lynch's platform calls for limits to the "monolithic federal government," which he feels prevents job growth through overreaching programs, such as the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
"The issue of the day on everybody's mind continues to be jobs and the economy, of course," Lynch said. "The greatest drag on our economy, the greatest producer of joblessness, in the country today, frankly, is the federal government."
Also pushing for limits to the federal government is Macko, 71, of Cannon Road in Solon. Macko is a retired banking adjuster and the libertarian candidate for Ohio Congressional District 14. With a platform centered on a "return to the constitution and limited government," Macko supports the abolition of the federal reserve system and the National Security Agency, as well as an end to all foreign aid and international armed conflicts.
"I'm concerned that the incumbent had such a low rating on the New American's Freedom Index. He only got a 50 percent," Macko said. "He voted to cave in to the Democrats regarding the partial shut down of the government. He's not doing things that need to be done, such as impeaching Barack Obama for treason, war crimes and murder. I'm not only anti-Obama, I was anti-Bush, I thought he should have been impeached."
Ohio's District 14 contains all of Ashtabula, Lake, and Geauga counties, in addition to eastern Cuyahoga County, northern Trumbull County, northern Portage County, and northeastern Summit County.
Facebook: Conner Howard, Record Publishing Reporter