TOLEDO - Springfield Township resident Angela Zimmann launched her bid Thursday for Ohio's 5th Congressional district in 2012 with a broad attack on the record of the incumbent, U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green).
Zimmann, 38, a Democrat, a Lutheran church pastor, and a instructor at Bowling Green State University, said her goal is to be a servant of the people.
She criticized Latta over his budget votes, alleged ties to special interests, and what she said was support of tax breaks for big corporations and the wealthy.
"I am running against my opponent because I do not feel that the decisions he has made in Washington represent service to the people who live here," Zimmann said. "You will not hear me belittle this man. I respect him and I would like to be elected so that I could serve him too."
The 5th District, as recently reconfigured by the Ohio General Assembly, includes most of northwest Ohio and western Lucas County extending into South and West Toledo.
Zimmann said she believes the district is at least 45 percent Democratic.
Zimmann, whose maiden name is Wallington, is a 1990 Springfield High graduate. She is married to Martin Zimmann, also a professor at BGSU and her co-pastor at St. John Lutheran Church in Riga, Mich.
She said her grandparents and great-grandparents lived on the land where her house is located and ran a small farm, selling vegetables from a truck. Some of the former farm lies under what is now I-475.
About 50 supporters on Thursday packed into the home she shares with her husband, a son, a daughter, and foster children.
"Mr. Latta has been serving the special interests in Washington, D.C.," Zimmann said.
She criticized his vote for a Republican budget bill that would have ended Medicare in its current form and said she would work to protect Social Security. She said Latta voted to pollute the air and the water, has taken campaign contributions from "big oil" and given it tax breaks and subsidies, and "votes against our public schools and in favor of big business."
She said the campaign will be a service project, such as using campaign events to collect food for donation.
Zimmann was re-elected Tuesday to the Lucas County Educational Service Center Board, which provides a variety of educational services in the Washington, Springfield, Ottawa Hills, and Anthony Wayne local school districts.
It also sponsors 67 charter schools around the state. She is president of the Northwest Region of the Ohio School Boards Association.
Latta did not respond to requests for comment.
Pastor-instructor starts bid against Latta