TROY — Miami County voters had a chance to hear from many of the candidates for Congress at a meet the candidates event held Tuesday night at Troy Junior High School.
The event, sponsored by Leadership Troy Alumni, featured 12 of the Republican candidates for the 8th Congressional District race in the March primary. Leadership Troy Alumni have been hosting the Meet the Candidate forums since 1990.
On March 15, voters in the district’s six counties will choose nominees for both a June 7 special election to fill Rep. John Boehner’s unexpired term and for the November general election.
The candidates all expressed strong support for the Second Amendment and shared similar views on issues like national security and reducing government spending.
The candidates include two state legislators, but most of the other candidates are newcomers to the political arena.
Jim Spurlino, who owns a construction materials company in Middletown, promoted his lack of political experience as a positive and argued that he is a proven job creator.
“I’m not a professional politician,” he said. “I’ve never run for office.”
Joseph Matvey, a West Chester Township accountant, said that he’s a non-politician running because he is “frustrated, angry, and concerned” with the current administration.
“I wasn’t trained as a speaker.I was trained that actions speak louder than words.”,” Edward Meer, West Chester, said. “We need someone with that kind of attitude, someone who will go to D.C. and really make some change.”
J.D. Winteregg of Troy reminded attendees of his run against Boehner in 2014.
“You know we had a representative who worked with the Democratic president and we are $19 trillion in debt. We had a guy who abandoned the seat,” Winteregg said, referencing Boehner. “I’m not going to compromise my principles. I’m going to stand up for what’s right.”
State Sen. Bill Beagle of Tipp City argued that Washington is failing the citizens of the United States, citing issues with Obamacare, the national debt, and national security.
“People want someone in Washington who is going to get things done,” he said. “You know me as an engaged state senator.”
Warren Davidson of Troy promised voters to fight on their behalf in Congress.
“This election is hugely consequential,” Davidson said. He said that the country needs more conservatives in Washington D.C.
George Wooley, Troy, spoke of the “moral rot” in government and pledged to restore sanity, order, righteousness and common sense if elected.
“Both parties have left you and I behind,” Kevin White of New Carlisle said. He spoke of creating a culture of work in America and of looking for opportunities to do better.
Michael Smith, a military veteran from Franklin, spoke on the value of letting veterans take leadership roles.
“Veterans are proven leaders,” he argued. He advocated job training for veterans and for promoting trade skills.
On the issue of national security, the candidates touched on tighter border control and threats from terrorist organizations.
Scott George suggested that the country stop all immigration until stricter regulations were put in place. George, a human resources consultant in Miami County, also said that he doesn’t believe the voices of the voters are being heard in Washington.
Eric Haemmerle, a government teacher and Troy native, spoke in favor of rebuilding the military and advocated “peace by force.”
John Robbins, of Monroe, argued that in the Constitution as in the Bible, words have meanings.
“Words don’t change,” he said. He argued that those in government, particularly the Supreme Court, have forgotten the meaning of the Constitution.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (937) 552-2205.