BLUFFTON — The three Democratic candidates hoping to take on Republican Jim Jordan in the November race for the 4th Congressional District were in Bluffton Saturday night, facing off in their first true debate.
Shannon Freshour, Mike Larsen and Jeffrey A. Sites all hope to win in the primary on March 17, despite never having run for public office before.
The forum was co-sponsored by Allen and Hardin for Election Action and Democracy and the Lima African American Chamber of Commerce and Millennial Action Pact.
All three candidates had a chance to explain why they are the best choice to challenge Jordan.
Freshour, of Toledo, believes she’s qualified to run against Jordan.
“Well, I think I bring a unique set of qualities, I have experience in policy, I have a background in education and policy and I believe that I can go head to head with him in a fight and explain to the people why we need a change, why we need new leadership, and that I represent their values because they’re my values,” said Freshour.
Larsen, of Plain City, calls himself a “progressive Democrat” and doesn’t believe someone needs to be a moderate to beat Republican Jordan.
“In 2018, I worked for Janet Garrett, who ran against Jordan, and she was a great candidate. I kept running into other Democrats who seemed to think they should pretend to be half a Republican to run here, and I thought, God, I’d like to see someone take a real swing at this and run as a Progressive Democrat and see what happens. So that conversation led to my wife saying, well, let’s do it,” said Larsen.
Sites, of Lima, considers himself a moderate and believes that’s a good thing in order to beat Jordan.
“The reason I feel I’m best is I’m a moderate, and I can reach across the aisle and bring independence back towards the Democratic side just because I want to listen to both sides of the coin and make up my own mind not necessarily a Democratic mind or Republican mind but an American mind,” said Sites.
During the debate, the candidates took on questions about student loan debt, the Affordable Healthcare Act, education vouchers for private schools and the economy.
Early voting in Ohio begins Feb. 19.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.