ADA — Two candidates running for office appeared at a forum at Ohio Northern University in Ada Friday night.
The event was sponsored by the College Democrats at ONU.
James Neu Jr., from Perrysburg, is running for the Democratic nomination in the 5th Congressional District, a seat currently held by Republican Bob Latta. Neu was the uncontested Democrat nominee in 2016 but lost to Latta in the general election. Neu faces challenger Michael Galbraith in the Democratic primary.
Neu says he’s concerned about a variety of things.
“We hear some stuff about the collusion with Russia and guns but the three [biggest issues] are jobs, environment and Lake Erie,” he said.
Neu also favors legalizing recreational marijuana.
“Ohio needs money. I don’t see anything wrong about legalizing marijuana. I’m 38 years old I would be lying if I told you I haven’t tried it. I did inhale. It’s not a gateway drug. It doesn’t lead you down to ruin. For me, it put me to sleep and then when I woke up, I was hungry,” he said.
The upcoming mid-term elections are crucial when it comes to whether Democrats can outnumber Republicans in Congress.
“I feel it’s partially on how they feel about the president and how they feel about who the president represents. They see a lot of the Republican representatives as just tag-a-longs and go-a-longs, we’re not going to go against the status quo. I think that’s the real reason the pendulum is swinging toward the Democratic side,” Neu said.
Also appearing at the forum was Rob Richardson, a Democrat running for Ohio Treasurer.
Richardson, from Cincinnati, says there’s a lot of challenging issues out there.
“We are number one in the United States for student debt. We haven’t invested in our colleges, we haven’t invested in our students and I want to begin to tackle that as your next treasurer.”
He’s also concerned about the costs of Ohio’s prisons.
“We spend a billion dollars a year on locking people up. I want to take and do a fiscal impact analysis to figure out how we can learn from other states to reduce those who are actually in prison now and reduce the cost of building new prisons and actually reallocate that money toward investment in people, education and training,” he said.
He says there’s a lot on the line in the upcoming elections.
“Everything our country stands for is on the line. I want to do everything I can to fight for it,” he said. “We can take nothing for granted.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.