Who am I?
I grew up in the small town of Albany in Appalachian Ohio, the son of a teacher and a waitress. My step-father was a proud Union bricklayer. I got my first job at age 10, delivering the local newspaper, and was active in sports and scouting throughout his childhood.
I earned a college degree at Ohio University, working all through college to help pay for school. While at OU, I won a seat on Athens City Council, becoming the first undergraduate student to do so.
I went on to earn a law degree from the University of Cincinnati, before returning to my hometown, where I spent several years prosecuting felony crimes as an assistant county prosecutor.
The time was right in 2007 to take on a challenge that had long stymied local Democrats. I defeated a 30-year Republican incumbent in the race for law director, campaigning hard and winning every precinct in the city as a result. I won re-election without opposition in 2011.
I am active in my community and enjoy serving with the Rotary, Bar Association and United Appeal for Athens County. I am especially proud of my many years of service to American Legion Buckeye Boys State, a summer youth program emphasizing the values of Americanism and good government.
I am a devoted fan of the Reds, Bengals, Ohio Bobcats and Ohio State Buckeyes. My wife Jenny, a high school science teacher, and I live in Athens County and enjoy hiking and nature. Our greatest adventure to date was a 4,000 mile road trip to Alaska, where we enjoyed the rugged beauty of Denali National Park.
Why am I running?
I'm running because the middle class I knew as a child is getting left behind. I was raised in a small Appalachian coal town, in a house where my parents could sometimes only afford to heat one room in the house in wintertime. I've seen what happens to families and communities when work disappears and jobs are shipped overseas. This current congress, while voting more than 30 times to repeal health care reform, hasn't passed a single comprehensive jobs bill or made the kind of investments in infrastructure and education which will grow the middle class and lay the foundation for sustained economic growth. Meanwhile, they approve deals which destroy jobs here at home and create incentives to ship jobs overseas. I'm running to put a stop to that and return our focus to strengthening the American middle class.
-- The first bill that I introduce will be a version of the Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act. It would do three things: provide a payroll tax break to businesses that bring overseas jobs home, end subsidies for plant closings and end subsidies that reward U.S. firms for outsourcing. The U.S. House never had a chance to vote on this bill during the last Congress because the Senate voted it down. Congress needs to make this happen and our district must send someone to Washington who will work for it and vote for it.
-- My other top goal is to stand up for seniors. I will never vote to end, weaken or privatize Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. I will never vote to take away what our seniors have earned.
My DFA Values
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My Campaign is People Powered!
-- My campaign is being powered largely by volunteers working out of our headquarters in Athens, Ohio, including many students at Ohio University. These volunteers provide energy and remind me and all of daily of our purpose in taking on Congressman Stivers.
-- It is likely that Congressman Stivers will have a virtually unlimited amount of money to spend against our more people-powered campaign, so we are building a strategy for the summer and fall that leverages our volunteer power to reach out to voters directly with phone banks and person-to-person contact.