SIDNEY — YPconnect of Sidney-Shelby County, along with the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, welcomed local business leaders to a luncheon and networking event featuring a visit from Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, 4th District, Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Shelby Oaks Golf Club.
Jordan shared his thoughts on leadership, community and government engagement before taking questions from the audience.
“When I think about leadership, (or) about achieving any level of success, the most important thing is hard work,” Jordan said.
“I always used to tell our student athletes, ‘Hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but it sure improves your chances.’ If you’re willing to work hard and set a goal, good things can happen.”
Jordan went on to say that before people can even begin to work toward a goal, they have to be willing to assume the risk in the possibility of failure.
“There’s always the chance that you might fall short, and it hurts when you don’t quite make it,” he said. “But if you never set the goal and never assume the risk, you don’t have a chance to get there.”
Jordan reminisced about his start in politics and how he utilized this type of attitude to gain entry into the political spectrum.
“I remember the first time I ran for public office,” he said. “I had never run for anything, (but) I decided I wanted to run for state representative. I was running against a two-term county commissioner from Champaign County who was just going to clean my clock.
“I told (Champaign County Republican officials), ‘I’m thinking about running for state rep.’ And they said, ‘Well, you’re a nice young guy, but you don’t have a chance.’ I said, ‘We’ll see.’”
Ashley Himes, a Sidney State Farm Insurance agent, asked Jordan what qualities he feels he possesses that make him a “great leader.”
“Well, first of all, there are a lot of Democrats who wouldn’t subscribe to that ‘great leader’ comment,” Jordan responded.
“I don’t know if I’m a great leader as you’ve said, but what my focus is, as a guy who gets the privilege to represent all of you — your families, your businesses, your community — in the United States Congress, is to focus on doing what I told you I was going to do when I ran for the job.”
Jordan noted his frustration on this topic, referencing an as-yet-unfulfilled promise made by the current administration.
“We told the American people, loudly, clearly, plainly, we were going to build a border security wall and secure the border, and it’s not done yet,” he said. “We should be fighting for that right now. Nobody wants a government shutdown, but we do have to get done what we said.”
Ed Thomas, CEO of the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA, asked Jordan for his take on the confirmation hearings of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
“If you’ve watched any of the confirmation hearings, you know (Kavanaugh) is a good guy, and you know he’s a smart guy,” Jordan said. “The Democrats, in my judgment, just made a joke of the hearings in so many ways. He’s a good man, and I think he should be on the court.
“I think a vast majority of Americans see through some of the things that are going on,” Jordan continued. “That’s not to say anything bad about Dr. (Christine Blasey Ford) and what she’s said happened 30-some years ago, but I think Americans see through this and I think Chairman (Chuck) Grassley is handling it well, moving ahead (and) giving Dr. Ford an opportunity to come forward and testify.”
Aaron Heilers, Shelby County Republican Party chairman, of Anna, asked Jordan, “What advice would you give to younger people who would like to serve in public office but don’t necessarily want to subject their family to things like public scrutiny?”
“Don’t run,” Jordan jokingly responded. “The nature of the left today: they’re going to come at you. The press is going to print things that are just not accurate, (which) happens all the time; not the local press, but the national (publications), the New York Times, the Boston Post, CNN, MSNBC.
“But, it’s still worth it,” he continued. “We need good young people to get involved in politics. I support term limits; you lose some good people, but newer, fresher faces getting involved is a good thing.”
Steve Wagner, Sidney City Council member from the 4th ward, asked, “Jim, is the lack of civility here to stay? What can we do?”
“I hope not,” Jordan responded.
Jordan continued by saying he hopes Republicans and Democrats can find opportunities to come together in areas where there is agreement, “focusing on the basics (and) fundamentals,” rather than putting all of the attention on issues of opposition.
Nate Burns, president of YPconnect of Sidney-Shelby County, said the group’s mission is to “connect” and “inspire” young professionals.
“It’s a group to connect young professionals in the area, inspire them to grow personally and professionally, and invigorate their community and workplace by putting into action items that they have learned from our events, community leaders and their peers,” he said.
The group meets every third Thursday of the month at various locations. The next meeting, a family event at VanDemark Farms, 2401 S. Vandemark Rd., Sidney, and sponsored by Sidney Body Carstar, will be Oct. 18.
For details, visit the YPconnect of Sidney-Shelby County’s Facebook page or contact the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce by phone at 492-9122 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.