MAPLEWOOD — Shelby County native Chris Gibbs — a lifelong Republican, past chair of the Shelby County Republican Party and long-time farmer — announced Wednesday that he is launching an exploratory committee to consider running against Jim Jordan as an independent for Ohio’s 4th Congressional District.
“As I’ve talked to farmers, business owners, teachers, nurses, civil servants, friends and family, they all agree,” Gibbs said. “They’re ready to break free of the Washington discourse and declare their independence from those who are only serving their own interests. They have challenged me to become that independent voice for them in Congress, to carry their message to Washington that ‘enough is enough.’”
Gibbs released a video explaining his effort to explore a run for Congress as an independent, outlining his message and asking for input at chrisgibbsohio.com. He had announced earlier this month he was leaving the Republican Party.
Also announced by Gibbs was his plan to host a Listening Tour in all 14 counties across the district to gather input and support from the people of Ohio’s 4th Congressional District.
“The two-party system has polarized itself into inaction through distrust and disdain for people who may not share the same views or have the same background as one another. Endless investigations, accusations and hearings do nothing to move issues important to real people here in Ohio,” Gibbs said. “The loudest voices these days are the extremes from both sides, and they’re the only ones who get any airtime from the media. They’re all forgetting that most Americans are right here, with me, caught in the middle.”
In keeping with his campaign’s effort to reach voters of all persuasions, Gibbs said he is building a bipartisan team of staff and consultants. Already signed on to work for the campaign are Republican pollster Christine Matthews and Democratic media consultant Joe Trippi.
“I’m going to reach out to Democrats, Republicans, third parties and people who, like me, don’t think any of the modern political parties are representing them,” Gibbs said.
Gibbs worked for the USDA for more than 25 years helping farmers across Ohio carry out authorized federal farm programs, including price supports and commodity loans. He owns and operates Gibbs Farms, where he farms soybeans, corn and alfalfa and maintains 95 head of cattle. He and his wife, Deb, have has two grown children, Jason and Tiffany.