Athens Law Director Pat Lang announced on Wednesday his candidacy for Ohio's 15th Congressional District.
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Columbus, is seeking re-election to a second term. Ohio lost two congressional seats after the latest U.S. Census showed declines in population. In a Republican-drawn redistricting map, the great majority of Athens County has been placed into an inverted-C-shaped district that includes part of Columbus.
In his announcement, Lang vowed to focus on job creation and fight for middle-class families. He referred to Stivers as a "career banking lobbyist whose extreme agenda protects Wall Street but ends Medicare as we know it."
Lang pointed to his biography in announcing his bid for the seat.
"I'm running for Congress because I grew up in a small Appalachian town – as a child, my parents could sometimes afford to heat just one room of the house in wintertime," he said. "When the coal mines closed and neighbors got laid off, I saw things go from tough to tougher. That's why it is so frustrating to watch Congress and see a whole lot of nothing."
Lang said that Congress is doing "nothing to create jobs, nothing to invest in middle-class families or small business, nothing to reassure us that we have the right tools to get out of this economic mess.
"We can do better. We can start by ensuring a strong middle class, protecting Medicare for seniors and creating jobs. That's why I'm running for Congress."
According to his release, Lang grew up in Albany, moved to Athens to attend Ohio University and became the first undergraduate student elected to the Athens City Council.
After earning his bachelor's degree from OU and his law degree from the University of Cincinnati, Lang returned to Athens County and prosecuted felony crimes as an assistant county prosecutor before defeating a 30-year incumbent in the race for Law Director of Athens, the release said. He and his wife, Jenny, a high-school science teacher, live in Athens.