LIMA — Ohio’s newly-drawn 86th Congressional District may be one of the more competitive contests Republicans will see during the run-up to the May 3 primary election. Dr. J.J. Sreenan, of Lima, had his application approved last week by the Allen County Board of Elections for the Republican spot on the November ballot for the 86th District. He is currently seeking the seat held by House Speaker Bob Cupp, R-Lima, who cannot seek re-election due to term limits. Sreenan’s opponent under the new legislative map consisting of Allen and northern Auglaize counties is Susan Manchester, R-Waynesfield. Mansfield is currently in her second term as the state representative for Ohio’s 84th House District, representing Auglaize, Shelby, Darke and Mercer counties. He and Manchester seem to share some of the same passions. Sreenan, who was the chair for Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Central Ohio in the early 2000s, mentioned reading an article that Manchester mentioned her work with them as something they share. “We’ve crossed paths. Probably two separate years, we’ve probably done some similar things. I’m sure we’ll have our differences too, and that’s okay,” Sreenan said. Campaigning in his first election, Sreenan tells The Lima News he never had intentions of running for political office but felt obligated after growing weary of today’s politics. Ultimately, a church peer group at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Lima gave him his first nudge to consider running for office. “The group’s discussions kept going to a place of someone had to stand up and say something. Around the same time that occurred to me, I went to a political rally, and one of the people on stage seemed to be talking directly to me and asked who was going to step up and run,” he said. “It was like God was calling me; I’m at a point in my career that I can.” The peer group and rally may have inspired Sreenan; it was his fear of what could become of his children’s generation and a father’s fierce instinct to protect them from losing everything he holds dear. “I believe over the last several years, our God-given rights and freedoms in this country are being eroded by left-minded politicians and educators,” Sreenan said. “The rapidity of the pace of this erosion seemed to multiply during the pandemic. The big problem is that while this is going on, most citizens have chosen to remain silent and passive. So, I guess I’m choosing to run for my children and their generation to become more involved in reversing the erosion of our rights and freedoms.”
J.J. Sreenan will challenge Susan Manchester for the Republican nomination in the newly-drawn 86th District in the primary election May 3.