Liberty Group plans Meet the Candidate Town Hall


SIDNEY — The Shelby County Liberty Group is sponsoring a Meet the Candidate Town Hall Sunday, April 15, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Sidney VFW, 2841 Wapakoneta Ave.

Ohio 4th District United States House of Representative Jim Jordan will open the town hall and then will answer questions presented to him. Jordan will update the group on Washington happenings.

Candidates have been invited who are running for the United States Senate from Ohio, the 84th District Ohio House, 85th District Ohio House and the State Republican Central Committee position.

Melissa Ackison, of Marysville, is running for the Senate seat. She is married and the mother of four boys ages 16 months to 22 years. Her 20-year-old is in the United States Army, stationed in the Middle East. Ackison and her husband own and operate Ackison Surveying LLC. Previously she owed a staffing company servicing the needs of the elderly and disabled. She has worked with large multi billion dollar international companies. As a small business owner she was impacted by Obamacare and fought and lobbied demanding changes. She was invited to the White House by Vice President Mike Pence and also President Donald Trump and was featured at national levels as a surrogate for repeal and replace initiatives. Ackison has worked on welfare reform, healthcare reform and understands matters of diplomacy and international business relations.She is a defender of the Second Amendment.

Don Elijah Eckhart, another Senate candidate, was born and raised in Shelby County, graduating from Sidney High School. He attended Capital University and Wharton Graduate School in Philadelphia. He has worked various jobs in state and local government, including budget manager for Montgomery County. He worked for the nonpartisan Ohio Legislative Service Commissions for 18 years. After retiring from state government he attended Ashland Theological Seminary receiving a Master’s degree in Christian Theology. He and his wife, Sue Ellen, have two sons and three grandchildren and live in the Columbus area.

Mike Gibbons’ representative was contacted and did not respond to invitation.

Jim Renacci will be unable to attend, as he has previous commitments. .

Ohio 84th House District candidate Aaron Heilers is married and he and Sarah are parents to three boys. Heilers is a fourth-generation farmer and is an advocate for agriculture and rural community values. He is project manager for agricultural conservation project. Heilers is a invested leader in the community serving as Farm Bureau President, a council member for Sacred Heart Parish, Shelby County Fair board member and treasurer of the Shelby County Republican Party Central Committee. He is a lifelong member of the 84th district who is committed to community. Heilers is running because he feels we need more common sense, grounded, conservative people representing us.

Travis Faber, also an 84th District candidate, is an attorney in Celina where he manage the law firm Faber and Associates. He primarily practices business law and civil litigation. Faber believes in protecting life, defending the Second Amendment, lowering taxes, and fighting for common sense government. He is an active hunter and a competitive shooter. Faber lives in Celina and is engaged to marry Paige Becker, of Minster.

The third 84th District candidate is Susan Manchester who grew up on her family’s farm in Auglaize County. She graduated from Ohio State University. Following graduation she did prolife mission work through Campus Crusade for Christ. Ten years ago she began working for Congressman Jim Jordan in Washington where she learned the importance of fighting tirelessly for your conservative values and beliefs. She ran Donald Trump headquarters in Lima during his campaign. She is a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and fiscal conservation.

Four candidates are running for the 85th District office. Rochiel Foulk is a native of Urbana, graduated from Ohio State University and then Capital University Law School. She did graduate work at Harvard and has worked 15 plus years as a healthcare administrator at Grant Hospital. She is a member of the Daughters of American Revolution, NRA and Ohio Farm Bureau. She owns a small farm and she believes in limited government, individual privacy, effective educational options, and taking care of our veterans.

Another candidate, Justin Griffis is a resident of Sidney. He is licensed as an attorney in the State of Ohio and the United States Federal District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. He is a partner at the law firm of Kerrigan, Boller, Griffis & Link Co, L.P.A. in Sidney.

His primary area of practice is criminal defense. He also practices within the areas of civil litigation, probate, and family law. Griffis is pro-Second Amendment, pro-business, and a proponent of small government. He is single, a member of the Sidney Rotary Club, and the legal advisor to the Sidney High School Mock Trial Team.

Joe Ratermann is also a candidate for the Ohio 85th District. He was born and raised in Sidney and served 22 years in the Armed Forces. He currently serves on the Sidney City Council and sits on the Shelby County Drug Task Force. He is a member of the Rotary Club and Holy Angels Church. Ratermann strongly believes in the devolution of power from the state to the county, city and township governmental units. He is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and supports the written United States Constitution.

Incumbent of Ohio’s 85th House District Nino Vitale believes you should keep more of your money and have freedom not dependence.

Vitale has been in private business for 26 years and has sued Obamacare. He believes in Constitutional Principles and promoting strong families. He and his wife, Lilli, have been married for 21 years and have five sons. They are an Ohio foster family and are pro-life. He is a NRA and CCW instructor. Vitale is a Hillsdale College Constitution Class graduate. He graduated from Ohio State University and was a member of the Ohio State Marching Band. He states he proudly represents Champaign, Logan, and Shelby Counties in the House.

Katie DeLand is the current Ohio Republican Party State Central Committewoman for the 12th district which includes Allen, Champaign, Mercer, Shelby, and parts of Auglaize, Logan and Darke Counties. She grew up in northern Darke County. DeLand graduated from Ohio State University and has worked in government affairs and is committed to electing representatives that uphold the values of the Republican platform. She hopes to continue working to strengthen the state Republican party by uniting and building the county party system.

DeLand is active in many civic, faith, and community organizations. She resides in North Star and is married and the mother of five children.

“A lot of folks skip the primary, thinking it is not as important as the general election. But, putting the best candidates on the general election ballot is the most important duty of an informed electorate,” said HR Pence, Shelby County Group communications director. “You can’t win the game if you don’t take the field. This is the voters opportunity to research and study the candidates, ask questions, learn their platform, and prepare to engage. The founders believed that a well-informed electorate preserves our fragile democracy and benefits American society as a whole.”

The town hall is open to the public free of charge.