MOUNT VERNON — Voters in Ohio’s 18th District will select a congressional representative in the 2010 general election on Nov. 2. Current representative Zack Space’s term will expire in December. Space is seeking a third term, while being challenged by Bob Gibbs, Lakeville-R, and Lindsey Sutton, Big Prairie-Constitution.
Space, Dover-D, earned a political science degree from Kenyon College. He earned his law degree at The Ohio State University, where afterward he joined his father’s law practice and later became law director for the city of Dover. A congressman since 2007, he has been on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as many other subcommittees. Space served on Special Counsel under Ohio Attorneys General Anthony Celebrezze and Lee Fisher. He created the Renew Ohio-18 project in recognition that rural Ohio’s economy needed to adapt to changing market focus.
“It’s all about jobs and the economy,” said Space. “We have much work to do to recover from the recession. In looking at Mount Vernon, Jeld-Wen has added a third shift of workers. We need to look at plans which are designed to build incentives for consumers to buy locally. We’ve begun to see some success, but we have a long ways to go.”
When asked about the proposed health care reform bill, “I did not vote for the reform bill. It didn’t do enough for seniors. We need to keep costs down and keep insurance more competitive,” said Space.
“I may disagree with a lot of issues, but I try to maintain an independent voice. I try to look at how issues affect our district first and then our nation,” he said.
Bob Gibbs hails from Lakeville in Holmes County. He has been a District 22 state senator since 2009 and was a state representative from 2003-08.
Gibbs owned and operated a swine production farm until 2004, producing 10,000 swine annually. He graduated from The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute in 1974 and is past president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. He has been chairman of the Ways and Means and Economic Development committees and was vice chairman of the Agricultural Committee.
“It’s all about jobs. We have to get people back to work,” said Gibbs. “It all goes back to deficit spending and debt. We need to cut our deficit spending, and we can’t raise taxes. We have big government and big taxes, and it’s eroding our economic system. We have to get it turned around.”
A resident of Big Prairie, Lindsey Sutton is a retired veteran of the U.S. Air Force, serving 1971-91. He has also been a truck driver for seven years and has been busy taking care of his grandchildren.
If elected, Sutton’s main priorities would be addressing the economy and the health care system. Because of business uncertainty, health care has been put on the backburner, according to Sutton. “It’s a big concern which has hampered the economy,” he said. “We need to get the federal government out of control [of health care]. They need to keep things flowing, but not keep controlling. We should also take down barriers between the states and open up a free market.”
In addressing the economy, Sutton believes there should be a lower tax rate, adding he would support repealing the 16th amendment on taxes. “Everything is tied together by the Constitution. I’ve always questioned income taxes,” said Sutton. “Lower taxes means more jobs; and if elected, I will be the liaison between the people and the government.”