Congressman Jim Jordan, who says he plans to run for speaker of the House if Republicans maintain the majority, is running against Democrat Janet Garrett in his bid for re-election.
Garrett, who has run against Jordan before in 2016 and 2014, was a member of the Peace Corps, and served on the Oberlin Ohio Education Executive Association Council.
Jordan is a member of the Freedom Caucus and believes America should adopt a balanced budget amendment.
The strangely shaped 4th congressional district stretches from Champaign County all the way to Elyria, near Cleveland. The district also includes the local counties - Shelby, Auglaize and Logan.
To say Jordan and Garrett disagree on the major issues would be an understatement.
“Obamacare continues to drive-up costs and reduce options for Ohioans,” Jordan said in his answers for our online voters guide. “It’s time for market-based solutions that provide more options for better coverage at a lower cost.”
Garrett has a different viewpoint.
“I believe we need Medicare-for-All,” she said. “We have the highest health care costs in the world, and much of these costs are administrative. It is time for us to face this problem head-on and finally bring quality, affordable health care to all Americans.”
Her stance is similar to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who also is calling for Medicare for all and considers healthcare a basic human right.
Both agree that gun control is an important issue.
“As a father and grandfather I am heartbroken to hear tragedies like this, from the 2017 shooting at West Liberty-Salem High to the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida,” Jordan said. “I think many schools both in Ohio and across the district are correctly taking steps to harden the security of their buildings when class is in session. School boards, the state of Ohio, and to some extent the federal government should meet the security concerns of local law enforcement and local school officials whenever they can.”
Garrett is calling for more background checks.
“I am a gun owner and fully respect the rights of gun ownership, but we must do more to protect public safety. Responsible gun owners agree that we need universal background checks and common sense gun reform,” she said.
When it comes to the minimum wage, these two have difference approaches.
“The minimum wage is 90 cents higher than the federal minimum wage.” Jordan said. “This shows that the marketplace in Ohio has, through the people’s representatives in the state legislature, already driven the minimum wage higher than most states. It shows that competition is a good thing, and that other benefits like paid sick time or family leave can increase the same way. It is not the place of the federal government to dictate what kind of pay and benefits a business must provide its workers, and I think like the state minimum wage examples demonstrates, it is not often that effective either.”
Garrett wants to raise the minimum wage.
“The federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 and it should be tied to inflation. Currently, a minimum wage salary does not provide enough to pay for a modest apartment in any state,” she said. “Hard working people deserve a living wage and the middle class deserves a raise. We must also have paid sick leave and family leave.”
Jordan was under fire earlier this year for his ties to a former Ohio State team doctor accused of inappropriate behavior with student athletes when Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University.
Jordan has raised the argument previously that he is a victim of a vendetta by liberals in the wrestling scandal. He has not provided any evidence to back that claim.
More than a half-dozen former wrestlers at Ohio State have said that Jordan, who served as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University in the late 1980s and early 1990s when Richard Strauss worked there as a team physician, knew of inappropriate behavior by Strauss but did not report it.
Here’s a look at some other answers from the candidates from our online voters guide:
Where do you stand on trade issues? Do you support deals such as NAFTA?
Garrett: We must protect American workers and American jobs, and it’s important to have free and fair trade agreements that lift up labor and environmental standards.
I believe a new NAFTA can better support our workers. I also believe that tariffs can help Americans in some cases, but when applied as drastically and sporadically as they are now, they only contribute to instability and uncertainty for American businesses, which only hurts businesses and their workers.
Jordan: I believe that given a level playing field, the productivity of American workers will outpace the productivity of any other country in the world. A market economy with free and fair trade is the best way to turn this American productivity into private sector economic growth.
But not every trade deal currently in place represents the fairest deal for America. I have supported some international trade deals in the past, and I have opposed others, on a case-by-case basis.
As far as NAFTA, I believe we can negotiate a better deal for Ohio farmers, manufacturers and consumers than we currently have. I am comfortable giving the administration some latitude in order to negotiate better trade positions in situations like NAFTA, as well as to put pressure on countries like China to bring them into compliance.
Should the Russia probe into meddling in the 2016 election end? Do you support Robert Mueller’s investigation?
Garrett: There is plenty of evidence that the Russians sought to influence our election in 2016. Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy, and our government should be making every effort to prevent that from happening ever again. We should allow the investigation to continue until we know more about the risks to our democracy.
Jordan: I believe Russia represents one of the greatest international threats to American security today, and it goes without saying that we cannot tolerate their meddling, or the meddling of any foreign government, in American elections.
As far as the Mueller investigation, I believe it is fundamentally flawed and must come to an end. Just like in the Obama Administration, high ranking officials in the Trump justice department are hiding documents from Congress, preventing us from fulfilling our oversight role of the Mueller investigation.
However, despite their obstruction, some important facts came to light during my questioning of a witness at a public hearing before the House Oversight Committee. We learned that the entire Mueller investigation is rooted in a political “opposition research” document created for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign against then-candidate Donald Trump.
The admission that the investigation is based in politics calls into question its motivation and credibility.
Washington Bureau reporter Jack Torry contributed to this report.
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