The Athens NEWS is urging our readers to vote for Rick Neal in the race for the 15th District House of Representatives seat currently held by Steve Stivers. Neal’s victory in this decidedly uphill race will send a message that supporting a profoundly bad president carries consequences.

Neal, a Democrat from German Village in Columbus, offers bold ideas for addressing the many crucial issues facing our nation and state, from improving access to health care to raising the minimum wage to supporting the growth of renewable energy and taking steps against climate change.

In addition to adding to the Democrats’ check against an unfit president, Neal will help provide a counterweight against a Republican Congress that favors the rich over the middle class and poor; that has no interest in making health care affordable, accessible or fair; that talks a good game on the opioid crisis but doesn’t follow up with effective action or challenge Big Pharma; that holds extreme positions on immigration, gun rights, and women’s rights and health; and that bends over for whatever latest insult is being tweeted from the White House.

Also, crucially, Neal can be depended on to support Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation (and eventual conclusions) into possible Russian collusion by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and what already appears to be an open-and-shut case of obstruction of justice.

It’s highly doubtful that a Republican-majority Congress will support the Special Counsel’s conclusions about Trump, or do anything about them. That would be a tragedy for American democracy, with disastrous and far-reaching consequences. 

Neal would be a big improvement over Stivers, who holds a leadership position with a Republican Party that has betrayed its ideals and America’s future to President Donald Trump. It’s essential that voters in Ohio and other states – when quality Democratic candidates are running – reject the GOP members of Congress who stand behind this dishonest, corrupt, incompetent and narcissistic president.

Stivers, who hails from Columbus suburb Upper Arlington, chairs the powerful National Republican Congressional Committee. He also serves on the House Financial Services Committee. On the good side, Stivers appears to take constituent services seriously, and has done outreach on the intractable addiction crisis with his annual Opioid Roundtables which bring together stakeholders on the issue to come up with workable solutions. He also has taken an active hand in efforts to find a productive local/regional use for the former state prison facility in Nelsonville.

Stivers also has received a high ranking for bipartisanship from the Lugar Center and Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. Every year, they post a non-partisan ranking of how often each member of Congress works across party lines.

Neal, meanwhile, has an impressive and longstanding record as a teacher, health educator and activist for the Peace Corps, Refugees International and other international aid groups. He offers the sort of diverse background that can only benefit a U.S. Congress that often seems stuck in the past.

Notwithstanding the aforementioned positives for Rep. Stivers, we’re solidly with Rick Neal on most of the issues. And as can’t be repeated enough, his victory will add a necessary governor against a rogue president and Republicans in Congress who have abdicated their responsibility to check the president or rise above party loyalty for the good of the country.

Please vote for Rick Neal in the race for the 15th Congressional District representative.

Load comments