U.S. Senate; U.S. House; Ohio Secretary of State; Ohio House of Representatives
Yale University (BA); Ohio State University (MA, MPA)
Ohioans are working harder than ever, but they’re not seeing it pay off. Too many in Washington and Columbus don’t understand that there is dignity in all work, whether you punch a clock or earn a salary, work in construction, an office, or a hospital. In the Senate I will keep fighting to give all Ohioans a voice and working to make sure that all Ohio families can thrive.
The single biggest problem facing Ohioans is that as they work harder than ever, they have less and less to show for the work they put in. I’m fighting to make sure every single Ohioan has the opportunity to succeed -- from the nurse in Cincinnati or the barber in Cleveland, to the waitress in New Philadelphia or the business owner in Sandusky. That’s why I’m running -- to make sure all workers can earn a living wage, provide for their families and retire with dignity. Ohioans deserve to see their hard work pay off, and to share in the wealth they create.
While we invest in workers, we must also invest in communities to create new jobs and new opportunities for Ohioans. Another one of my top priorities for my next term in the Senate is pursing new policies that support U.S. job creation, from renegotiation of trade deals so they work better for Ohioans, to tax incentives for companies who keep jobs in the United States.
Fighting the opioid epidemic is another one of my top priorities. I hear from Ohioans on the frontlines of this epidemic everyday and they need Congress to step up and provide the resources they need to make an impact in their communities. In addition to boosting funding for the hardest hit states like Ohio, I am working with Senator Portman to make it easier for Ohioans battling addiction to get the treatment they need.
Supporting Ohio’s defense installations should never be a partisan issue and I have been proud to work with Senator Rob Portman, Congressman Mike Turner, and colleagues from both parties to invest in our defense priorities at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. In the most recent National Defense Authorization Act, we worked together to secure $182 million in federal funding to expand the National Air and Space Intelligence Center at Wright-Patt, as well as $1 billion for research and development at the Base’s Air Force Research Lab and more than $330 million to clean up the drinking water supply at Wright-Patt and Air Force Bases across the country. I will work to keep Wright-Patt strong by investing in the critical research carried out on the base, advocating the servicemembers and military families who live on and around the base, and supporting the defense manufacturers that create jobs across our state.
Immediately after President Trump’s election, I offered to work with his transition team on trade issues and sent him a letter outlining steps we could take to retool U.S. trade policies to benefit Ohio workers. Since then, I have been proud to work with U.S. Trade Representative and fellow Ohioan Bob Lighthizer to level the playing field for workers and hold our trading partners accountable.
At the same time, I’ve spoken out against the administration’s efforts to undermine our healthcare system and take away care from those who need it most. I’ve opposed efforts to strip funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Appalachian Regional Commission, and I have worked with Senator Portman to demand answers from the EPA when the agency refused to give Ohioans answers about contamination at Wright-Patt. I have said all along that I will work with the President when it is right for Ohio, and I’ll fight him like hell when he’s wrong.
I support making it easier to do business here in Ohio, and that includes businesses that play a role in our medical marijuana industry. I have supported the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, which bars the U.S. Justice Department from enforcing federal law against medical marijuana in places like Ohio, where it is legal. The federal government should focus on supporting Ohio law enforcement efforts to combat the opioid epidemic rather than on making it harder for Ohioans to use medical marijuana to treat cancer or Parkinson’s.
When considering a nomination to the Supreme Court, I look at a nominee’s record to see if we can trust them to protect the rights of all Ohioans. This year, we saw some troubling decisions from the Supreme Court -- taking away workers’ rights, voters’ rights, and women’s rights. After meeting with Judge Kavanaugh, closely reviewing his record, and listening to Ohioans, I am convinced that Judge Kavanaugh would side with special interests and against working Ohioans.
Our immigration system is broken. We need a solution that secures our borders and creates a pathway for people who are already here to earn their way to citizenship by obeying the law, working and paying taxes. Just this year, I voted for two bipartisan proposals that would have secured our border, while also providing certainty to Dreamers brought here as children through no fault of their own and American in every sense but the paperwork. I’m disappointed those bipartisan compromises did not pass, and I’ll continue working for a commonsense solution to fix our broken immigration system.
Last year, I introduced a plan to restore the value of work in America that includes raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, ensuring that workers earn up to seven days of paid sick leave a year, and establishing twelve weeks of paid family and medical leave through a national paid leave fund.
The Affordable Care Act was a historic step toward making sure every Ohioan can get the healthcare they need, including five million Ohioans with pre-existing conditions and more than 700,000 who have gotten care through our state’s Medicaid expansion. Under the expansion, tens of thousands of Ohioans have been able to get addiction and mental health treatment, and multiple Ohioans have said that they would not be alive without the care they received through the program. I applaud Governor Kasich for his leadership and commitment to protecting this program, even as Washington Republicans try to undermine it.
I also know the law isn’t perfect, but we need to build on its progress, not roll it back by repealing the law all together. I’ve offered specific solutions to fix the law and make care more affordable for Ohioans, including supporting a public option to the marketplace to the individual marketplaces so all consumers can access and affordable plan. I have also supported efforts to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices directly with manufacturers and offered a plan to allow people as young as 55 to buy into Medicare.
Change doesn’t start in Washington; it starts with people speaking out and demanding change. This year, in the wake of the shooting in Parkland, we have seen students, parents, and community leaders doing just that. I have always respected the rights of hunters and gun owners across our state, but when our children aren’t safe in school it is clear we are not doing enough to keep our country safe. That’s why I supported the original assault weapons ban and voted to renew the legislation after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
We must also ban bump stocks and close loopholes that allow people who buy guns at gun shows or online to sidestep the background check system. And we must pass legislation to prevent people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list from buying guns. It’s simple -- if you’re too dangerous to get on a plane, you’re too dangerous to buy a deadly weapon.
In the wake of the Parkland shooting, I worked with my Republican and Democratic colleagues to pass into law the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act -- a bill to train students, teachers, and law enforcement to better recognize warning signs so they can be reported before violent acts can occur. It’s an important step, but it has to come with commonsense gun safety reforms to prevent lethal weapons from ending up in the wrong hands.
Throughout my career I have spoken out against unfair trade deals that put Ohio workers at a disadvantage, standing up to Presidents of both parties on behalf of Ohioans. And I’ve been working with President Trump to help him make good on his promises to Ohio workers on trade by holding our trading partners accountable for illegal practices like steel dumping and currency manipulation.
My vote against NAFTA was one of my first in Congress, and now I’m working with President Trump to renegotiate a deal that better serves Ohio. I’ve voted against trade deals with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. I stood up to President Obama in opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have been devastating for Ohio communities, and applauded President Trump’s decision to withdraw from TPP. I’ve also supported his actions to hold China accountable for its pattern of trade abuses that hurt Ohio workers.
I’ve also teamed up with Senator Portman to bring real relief to Ohio companies and workers in trade cases before the International Trade Commission, and worked with him to pass legislation that made it easier for companies to get relief when foreign competitors cheat.
The climate is changing, and as a father and a grandfather, I want to make sure that our environment is safe and healthy for my grandchildren and for generations to come. Our state has an opportunity to lead the nation in clean energy development, whether through the offshore wind farm on Lake Erie or by investing in innovative new manufacturing technologies. Our government should work to ensure that all of us, in every state, community, and ZIP code , which is why I have called for answers from the EPA about contamination at Wright-Patt, fought for full funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and supported federal policies to grow our clean energy economy.
I have spent my career fighting for working families across our state. I am proud that Ohioans know me, know my record, and know that they can count on me to give them a voice in the Senate.
We need to invest in our infrastructure to keep Ohioans safe and make it easier to do business in our state. It’s also a way to create thousands of good jobs. Earlier this year, my colleagues and I introduced a plan to invest in infrastructure projects across the country, including new investments for our highways and bridges, as well as funding to modernize our school buildings, public transit, housing, and water and sewer systems. Under this plan, we would make sure that we are supporting Ohio workers and manufacturers by applying Buy America rules, so that as we rebuild and upgrade our infrastructure, we are doing so with steel and iron made in our country.
The guilty pleas and verdict that we have seen from figures like Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen show that the Mueller investigation is rooting out corruption and influence in our political system and it must be allowed to go forward. I want the President to come clean and tell the American people everything he knows so we can get to the bottom of exactly what happened and get on with the business of rebuilding our infrastructure and creating jobs.
We should be making it easier, not harder, for working Ohioans to get the healthcare they need. Our state’s Medicaid expansion, which was led by Governor Kasich and has earned the support of Republicans and Democrats alike, has made it possible for more than 700,000 Ohioans to get care, including critical mental health and addiction treatment services. We should protect that progress, not try to weaken or undermine it.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Mayor, Wadsworth, Ohio: 2004-2008
Congressman, Ohio’s 16th District: 2011 to present
I’m not a career politician. I’m a businessman with more than three decades of experience owning and operating companies and have created over 1,500 jobs and employed over 3,000 people across Ohio. I grew up understanding the value of a dollar and the importance of rolling up your sleeves to get the job done.
I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and am a Certified Public Accountant.
I grew up in a small, blue collar town in a three-room house with a steel mill right down the road. My grandfather was a coal miner and my father was a railroad worker and the treasurer of his local union. We didn’t have much, but my parents did everything they could to provide for us. When my father lost his job, I took odd jobs to help my family pay the bills.
More than anything, my mother wanted me to go to college. We couldn’t really afford it, so I worked three jobs while I was in school to pay my tuition. But it was worth it – I was the first in my family to graduate from college. After school, I moved here to Ohio. And with only a few hundred bucks to my name and the help of a community bank, I got a loan to start my first business. Thirty-five years later, I have owned or operated more than 60 businesses across the state of Ohio, creating more than 1,500 jobs and employing more than 3,000 people.
That’s why I’m running. Because I know what it means to struggle. I know what it means to have a job where you come home dirty, and tired and sore at the end of the day. I know first-hand the American Dream still exists and can be achieved. And I want everyone in Ohio to have the same opportunities I had.
But I’ve watched over the last three and a half decades as career politicians in Washington – like my opponent – have made it harder and harder for people like you and me to achieve the American Dream. And that has to stop.
We need to get Washington out of the way and put Ohio first again. As your United States Senator, I will put Ohio workers, Ohio families, Ohio farmers and Ohio small businesses first. I will focus every day on growing your paycheck, creating better, higher paying jobs in Ohio, and keeping our state and our country safe.
Sustaining Long-Term Economic Growth, Addressing Our Debt Crisis and Tackling the Opioid Epidemic are our top three challenges.
While we’ve seen tremendous progress and growth in our national economy over the past year, many Ohio families continue to struggle and our state has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Advancing a pro-growth, common sense agenda that fosters job creation and decreases our nation’s debt will be a top priority of mine.
The health of our economy impacts more than just our wallets—it directly affects the sense of hope and opportunity that Ohioans, particularly young Ohioans, feel about their futures. When a feeling of hopelessness persists, as it does in many communities across our state, some young people turn to drugs, including opioids. We need Ohioans to feel more confident and optimistic, and I believe this can be done by adding more and better paying jobs to our economy.
Our men and women in uniform represent the best this country has to offer, and it is because of their service that we may continue our American way of life. Their sacrifice in the name of freedom represents an unwavering dedication to this country and the principles and rights enshrined in our founding documents that make it the most free and prosperous nation on Earth. I will always support our military men and women. As your next Senator, I will vote to fund robust military operations, including the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. With the increased focus on space, I will work tirelessly to ensure that Wright-Patterson Air Force Base plays a strong role in all space-based initiatives.
While I agree we must reform our immigration system, I don’t believe families should be separated at the border.
I agree that the Tax Cuts and the Jobs Act is working to help Ohio's families. I'm proud to say that I was a chief architect of the bill, and will continuing working with my colleagues and the President to ensure that the relief that Americans are feeling become permanent.
I oppose the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes and am closely watching the implementation of Ohio's legalization of medical marijuana. I believe that it is important that legal medical marijuana dispensaries have access to banking services in order conduct business in a safe and transparent way.
I will look to support candidates for the U.S. Supreme Court who demonstrate a clear commitment to upholding the original meaning and text of the constitution, and I’ll oppose those who engage in judicial activism by applying new and shifting interpretations of the document.
Our immigration system is in desperate need of reforms. I will support a merit-based immigration system so we bring in the best and brightest from around the world that have the skills we need to strengthen our country in a 21st Century economy. It’s vital that we uphold our responsibility to our citizens to protect our borders and hold sanctuary cities accountable for failing to cooperate with federal law enforcement officials. We are a nation of laws and it is imperative that they are faithfully and effectively enforced.
When it comes to issues like the minimum wage, leave, and health care, I believe states should determine policy based upon their unique needs, as states can best determine how to balance new policies against the taxpayers’ ability to pay for those policies. I do not support an increase in the federal minimum wage.
As Senator, I will continue to support federal policies that give states, businesses, and families more flexibility regarding paid sick and family leave. I supported legislation that would allow employers to provide more flexibility to employees by allowing workers to use overtime toward paid leave. This is a win-win for both employees and employers. Employees get the flexibility to take time off should they have an unexpected family emergency, and employers can attract a stronger workforce to their companies.
I support the full repeal and replace of Obamacare. Under Obamacare, Ohioans have seen their premiums increase and their choices for coverage decrease. We must replace Obamacare with common sense policies that take the federal government out of our health care decisions and increase competition within the marketplace.
Violence in our schools is a critical issue and keeping our kids safe must be a top priority for state, local and federal government officials. It’s imperative that we identify and address mental health, violence in entertainment, a breakdown in communication between law enforcement agencies, and not following or enforcing current laws. I’m a steadfast supporter of the Second Amendment and also support preventing firearms from getting into the hands of those who should not have access to them, such as the mentally ill.
I’ve supported bills such as Fix NICS, the NICS Denial Notification Act, and the STOP School Violence Act. The first two bills address shortfalls in the NICS Background Check System, specifically when it comes to federal agencies not properly reporting individuals who shouldn't be permitted to purchase a firearm. The STOP School Violence Act ensures greater communication between local and federal law enforcement when an individual attempts to illegally purchase a firearm.
I am a proud cosponsor of the STOP School Violence Act. This bill supports continued funding to train local law enforcement, school personnel, and students to prevent student violence. This bill also provides funding for technology, equipment, and better coordination among local law enforcement to improve school security.
On a global level, communities should increase support for troubled youth and ensure resources are available to families struggling with mental health issues.
I support President Trump taking a leadership role on renegotiating trade deals to achieve better outcomes for our workers and job creators. Steel is an important industry in our state and steelworkers have felt the impacts of unfair trade policies, particularly from China. We need a targeted approach that helps steelworkers, but also takes into consideration the impact on other industries, including agriculture, within the state and the impact on consumers.
Scientific studies show the annual global temperature has risen in recent decades, yet a vigorous and important debate over the degree to which human activity impacts our climate continues. The federal government plays an important role in protecting the air we breathe and water we drink. I have been a strong supporter of full funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. This program plays a vital role in protecting and restoring the Great Lakes, which are so important to Ohio and the region.
Having spent over three decades in the business world launching businesses across our state, I’m the only candidate in this race with decades of experience creating jobs and growing Ohio’s economy. I understand firsthand how government policies can both help and hinder job growth in America.
Among my top priorities in the U.S. Senate will be working with the White House to advance pro-growth economic policies that keep more money in the hands of Ohio businesses and families.
We need a voice in this seat who will work with the White House to deliver, rather than obstruct, initiatives that foster American job growth, border security, and the preservation of critical safety net programs.
I support the President’s proposed infrastructure plan that calls for a private-public partnership that would spur $1.5 trillion of private investment. Our nation’s roads and bridges are crumbling, as evidence of Cincinnati’s Brent Spence Bridge. When the bridge first opened in 1963, it was designed to accommodate 80,000 cars per day. Today more than 160,000 cars use the bridge daily.
I support the President’s decision to place sanctions on Russia to minimize any interference in our elections. I have also voiced my support for a probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, but I believe it’s vital that Robert Mueller’s investigation, like all such probes, remain narrowly focused on its original subject matter and come to a timely conclusion with either evidence of collusion presented or a no collusion finding so the Trump Administration can focus its full attention on creating more opportunities for everyday Americans.
I don’t think that decision should be made in Washington. I think Congress should decentralize the money and power over Medicaid to the states and let each state decide how best to provide vulnerable populations with health care based on its unique needs and the ability of its taxpayers to cover the costs.
When the government began the process of closing my profitable car dealership, I approached my legislator for guidance and support. My representative was dishonest, my dealership closed, and 50 people lost their jobs. When I first ran for Congress, I vowed to ensure people in my district are represented by a public servant who has actually lived and worked under the law and regulations our government enacts.
As a legislator, I believe it’s critical to operate my office with transparency, and to make sure I am always accessible to my constituents. I take pride in the relationships we’ve built with our diverse constituencies to work together to improve our communities. I plan to continue that tradition as your Senator.