Incumbent U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs faces two Republican opponents in the May primary for the 7th District seat, and two Democrats will battle to see who moves on to the November election.
Education: Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute, 1974
Family: wife, Jody; children, Amy, Adam and Andrew
Job history: co-founded Hidden Hollow Farms Ltd. in Lakeville in 1976; state representative, 97th District 2003-08; state senator, 22nd District, 2009-10; state representative, 18th District, 2011-13; U.S. representative, 7th District 2013-present;
What makes you the best candidate for the position?
Gibbs: My record speaks for itself: I support a pro-growth, pro-worker agenda that cuts taxes for all Americans, makes American businesses competitive in the global marketplace and reduces the regulatory hurdles that stifles American innovation. I understand that when workers are working, and families are strong, America is strong. I have been an unwavering defender of Lake Erie, making sure programs like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative are fully funded to continue the remarkable turnaround in the lake's ecology and leading the fight to prevent the Army Corps from disposing dredged material from the Cuyahoga River into Lake Erie.
Ken Harbaugh: In the days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, I led a combat reconnaissance aircrew in an intelligence collection mission against North Korea. Before takeoff, I briefed my crew. "We are facing an enemy that is s\till at war with the United States," I said. "They may think America is vulnerable right now, but that is why we are here."
Today, we face our gravest geopolitical challenge since 9/11. Our country remains at war in Afghanistan, we have troops engaged in North Africa, Iraq and Syria, and Russia continues to bully our allies. Meanwhile, North Korea has the ability to directly threaten the American mainland with nuclear missiles.
Education: High school diploma, some college
Family: Married; five children
Job history: self-employed in the communication industry; climbing towers; software programming; construction and restaurant business
Now, more than ever, we need decision-makers in Washington who understand the nature of these threats.
Patrick Pikus: If we want change in Washington, we can't keep electing the same kinds of people to go there. No more insiders. We need a regular Ohioan. Someone who has not accepted money from PACs and special interests (no matter how well meaning or benign,) someone who has lived and worked among citizens from across the socioeconomic strata, who puts others first, and who can empathize with the situations they face and respect the decisions they have to make every day. A sharp thinker, a team-builder, a solution-seeker, who is honest, hard- working and self-sacrificing.
Patrick Quinn: I am the best candidate mostly because I view this as a civic duty, not a career unlike a vast majority of others. I have well-thought-out real solutions to the difficulties we face here in the country at this time. Solutions that have the interests of a majority of Americans in mind. Not something that will get me elected because it sounds good at the time.
Education: bachelor's in business administration, Kent State University; master's in business administration, Case Western Reserve University
Family: married 28 years to wife, Shirley; three adult children, Sean, Garrett and Lauren
Job history: business manager at a large employer in the Canton area; adjunct professor at a state university in Northeast Ohio. Over the years, I've worked as a Teamster dock worker, an industrial sales rep, a corporate strategist and a school bus driver.
Terry Robertson: I am not a politician. I am a working-class 'We the People' candidate. I am not bought or paid for by any special interest. I am a Christian, conservative Republican who will not compromise on my principles. That is what makes me the best candidate. We have to change the type of politicians we are sending to D.C. if we ever want to get: term limits, balanced budget, flat tax. Our current representative, Bob Gibbs, has a voting record that he will not vote for these issues. He repeatedly votes for trillion-dollar spending bills.
What is the biggest challenge facing the district and how would you address it?
Gibbs: We have to get Americans back to work, providing the opportunities for safe, secure, and strong families to thrive. It's why I voted for tax cuts which are directly benefiting Ohio workers. We also must address opioids. As we addressed funding for and access to addiction treatment and immediate medical care in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, we have to ensure long-term solutions like effective border and law enforcement, employment-assistance services for those recovering, and drug court diversion programs are a part of the conversation.
Harbaugh: I will fight to end the opioid epidemic. We must view addiction as a disease, one that can be treated and overcome. More than 5,000 Ohioans overdosed last year. Opioid fatalities rose 36 percent in 2016, and overdose numbers for 2017 outpaced those. We must take immediate steps to treat current addicts and prevent new addictions from forming. During my ridealongs with local law enforcement, officers have said again and again: "We cannot arrest our way out of this problem." In Lorain County, the recovery courts have been proven to significantly reduce drug use and crime, and are more cost-effective than any other criminal justice strategy. I will work to replicate this successful system across the district.
Education: Multiple trades, continuing education, working on an associate degree in accounting
Family: Married, one son
Job history: professional driver, Realtor
We need to empower recovering addicts to rejoin society. Ohio's own Road to Hope empowers recovering addicts to reintegrate back into their community. I will make sure these successful programs receive the resources they need.
Pikus: Affordable health care: The Affordable Care Act has gone a long way to making insurance available for many, but health care costs are growing many times faster than real wages, even with insurance. We need to change the way deductibles and copays are calculated. With insurance, prescription drugs must cost the same or less than the "cash price" available to folks without insurance. Third-party consultants should be regulated so that their fees and recommendations to employers and insurers do not shift cost to consumers.
Education: Duke University, Phi Betta Kappa, summa cum laude; U.S. Navy Flight School, Commodore's List, Top Pilot; Yale Law School, juris doctorate
Family: wife, Annmarie; three children
Job history: president, Team Rubicon Global; chief operations officer, Team Rubicon USA; executive director, ServiceNation; strategist, McKinsey and Co.; founder and executive director, The Mission Continues; vice president and co-founder, Yale Law School Veterans Association; guest fellow, Yale University; adjunct professor, Quinnipiac University; assistant professor/naval science instructor, The Citadel; electronic warfare aircraft commander, functional check pilot
Quinn: The biggest problem facing the country at this time is career politics. Commonly known, since the presidential campaigns of 2016 as "the swamp." And the swamp is not just the elected officials of the Democrat and Republican parties. It is also those who make money from all of the mess in Washington - all the special-interest groups and lobbyists, groups like Black Lives Matter, the different Right to Life organizations, and others. There are a lot of people making a lot of money pretending to work to fix various problems. As for how I intend to fix this or at least start to fix this; well, simply get elected by the people.
Robertson: The issues that face our district from the federal level are many - term limits, building a wall, deporting all illegals, Second Amendment, abortion, flat tax, repealing Obamacare. The most important though is our crushing debt - $21 trillion in debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liability is going to be the downfall of our country. My opponent Bob Gibbs repeatedly votes for trillion-dollar spending bills and repeatedly votes against any spending cuts. I will not vote that way. Unlike my opponent, I will not campaign as a conservative and then vote like a liberal.