Democrats to challenge Davidson in November

Four Dems seek U.S. 8th District seat

By Melanie Yingst -

MIAMI COUNTY — The following Democratic candidates are running for the 8th Congressional District race on May 8.

Candidates were sent a questionnaire and recently responded to the Troy Daily News with information about their bid for the 8th Congressional District race.

The following candidates will appear on the Democrat ballot: Bill Ebben of West Chester, Vanessa Enoch of West Chester, Ted Jones of Piqua, and Matthew Guyette of Greenville. There is no Republican primary race. The 8th Congressional District includes Miami, Darke, Clark, Preble, and Butler counties and a portion of southern Mercer County.

The winner will face current U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson (R-8th) in November.

Candidate Ebben did not respond to the questionnaire as of press time.

• Matthew J. Guyette

Address: Greenville

Family information: Husband, we are together 22 years in July, but only married one year last December due to same sex marriage prohibition. Three Collie dogs, no kids.

Occupation: I am devoting myself full-time to running for Congress. My last paid employment was for the Architect of the US Capitol working as a Certified Interpretive Guide & Historian from 2012-16.

Position sought: US Representative for the 8th Congressional District of Ohio

Previous political experience: Candidate for the same office, 2014.

Qualifications: I possess a broad array of skills, knowledge and experience which uniquely qualify me for this important role. I have worked in financial services, municipal government, international aid and development, public interest law, hospitality, travel and tourism and education. I am multilingual: fluent in Spanish and conversant in Portuguese and French. I display good judgment, kindness and sobriety in all my affairs. I have a generalist background and a passion for public service.

Reason for seeking office: I look at the incumbent, Warren Davidson, and I see a father, a veteran and a business owner; all impressive attributes. But I also see a man in the thrall of a political party, which cares only for the wealthy and well connected. Mr. Davidson voted for the Trump tax cuts, increasing our annual national deficit to over a trillion dollars a year into the foreseeable future. To assuage his guilt as a supposed “fiscal conservative” at this profligacy, he joined other Freedom Caucus members to vote for a Constitutional amendment mandating a balanced budget. This would demolish Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs upon which the most needy, including the disabled and the elderly, depend for care and sustenance. Mr. Davidson has revealed himself to be a spineless toady, enabling the lawless and tawdry behavior of Donald Trump and his associates. Instead of joining with other Republicans in Congress to provide Constitutionally mandated oversight of this corrupt presidency, Davidson has rolled over and turned a blind eye, even going so far as to attempt to smear federal law enforcement by voting to release the bogus, propaganda-based “Nunes memo.”

Goals for office if elected: Unfortunately, despite his impressive resume, Davidson has proven to have no spine, no integrity and no stomach for confronting the lawless and reckless behavior of the president, because it spells inconvenient political peril for him and his Republican cronies in the House and Senate. He must be voted out to return our government to the Rule of Law and cleanse it of the corruption, lies and self-dealing which has recently characterized it. Congress must be a co-equal branch of government, not the arms and legs of a crime family with the president at its head.

I would also like to see our government return to a sound financial footing, with a plan for paying down the debt, reducing the deficit and investing in a nationwide program of infrastructure spending to enable us to compete in the 21st century. We must make our economy work for Main Street as well as Wall Street. Gone are the days when the wealthy and big business could be counted on to invest their riches in the US, creating jobs and prosperity. Instead, they send their investments overseas where they can reap even greater rewards, all protected by the strong protection of our US military; which has become the security force for outsourcing and globalization.

What do you see as the greatest need to be addressed? Our nation, long a beacon of freedom and democratic norms, is slipping into corruption and authoritarianism. Every democratic institution is under attack by this administration and its quislings in Congress: the press, the judiciary, the intelligence community, NATO and the United Nations, even the Rule of Law. We are ruled by a president and his minions who act as if Trump himself is the state, and the law. This is the madness of a tyrant, a king, a dictator and Republicans in Congress, including Warren Davidson, are aiding and abetting this behavior. We are at a moment of crisis and we will be judged by our response.

• Ted Jones

Address: Piqua

Personal information: Married for 51 years. I have two grown children with families of their own.

Career: I am a retired factory manager with 35 years of manufacturing experience in heavy fabrication and the transportation industries. I started my career in the steel industry at one of the lowest levels and ended my career as a factory manager with a local company. After I retired, I began working as a quality consultant, working with companies that were trying to either improve their quality operations or develop plans to register to ISO 16949 and ISO 1401 requirements in the transportation industry.

Education: I graduated from Penn State University’s Industrial Management Program and attended Defiance College here in Ohio.

Public and volunteer service: While I was a resident of Pennsylvania, I held public (appointed) office for a number of years and served on our local planning commission as its ice President. I gave up that position when I moved my family to Ohio 1986. It was a move that I never regretted and I feel blessed to be a Buckeye to this day.

After I retired, I kept up my volunteer activity working with Piqua’s local, and now former WOTVC- 5 television station for a number of years. I currently volunteer at Troy’s Veteran Museum when called upon, and I also develop television programming for DATV-5 in Dayton Ohio as an Independent Television Producer.

Reason for seeking office: I believe that we are severely underrepresented in our district, and I want to change that. My values are Main Street values, not the values of Wall Street, special interest groups or major corporations. As I travel though the 8th District, I hear what people are saying, and I hear the frustration they are experiencing. They are asking for change and better representation that listens to them. I do not believe in exploiting people, nor do I condemn people. I would rather create opportunities for people to succeed in life, to raise their families as best as they choose. And, to make this world a better place before I leave it.

If the voters select me to go forward on May 8th to run in the general election, I would immediately start to work to return representative government to the voters in our 8th Congressional District.

The unfortunate truth is that government is busy concentrating wealth and power into the hands of the few. And they keep asking voters to vote for policies that are not in their interests. They offer little and keep the bulk for themselves. The net result of that is the historic mountain of debt that was created as a result of years of unfunded programs and the bailing out of Wall Street types and their acolytes. I would work to reduce our debt to an acceptable economic level. Calls for a balanced budget now are akin to a fireman setting a building on fire and then pulling the alarm for help. The question is: are voters going to reward that kind of judgment, and will they keep returning incumbents to political office to sell more snake oil. I for one believe that we can’t afford that kind of judgment.

I will work to acquire funding for our state and local governments to combat the opioid and fentanyl epidemic that we are experiencing. Our country cannot remain strong if our country remains sick.

I will work to improve our health care system like Medicare and Medicaid and work though the imperfections of the ACA (Obamacare), or eliminate it in favor of a better health care system. I do believe that living in one of the richest countries in the world we can say that health care is a human right.

I do not believe in privatizing our Veteran’s Administration, but rather work to improve the inequalities in that system. I believe that we owe it to all of our Veterans, which I can proudly say that am one to the best care possible. And … may I say that I would never criticize any military veteran for using the VA’s services for any reason.

I work to ensure that children have safe schools to go to, and they have equal opportunities to learn. I believe that public schools should be fully administered by local school boards, and that they are held to a public standard for excellence. We live in a global economy and we have to educate our children to compete in that competitive environment because our nation’s survival may depend on it.

We need to find ways to reduce the cost of higher education and the resulting crushing student debt that comes with education.

I believe that Social Security is not an entitlement because working men and women contributed to it as did our employers. And it should not be privatized as the GOP leadership has so often expressed. That would be a disaster.

I believe that we should safeguard our environment, our national parks and only exploit renewable sources of energy to offset the effects of global warming.

I believe that we can solve these problems and deal with issues working together. These issues cross all party lines and they impact our daily life. Help me return true representative government to Miami County and the rest of the 8th Congressional District.

I’m experienced in dealing with public issues, and I’m experienced managing business operations, I know how to bring people together, and I know how to solve problems. I want to work for the voters of our district and not the wealthiest of our society. I grew up on Main Street.

Dr. Vanessa Enoch

Address: West Chester

Family Information (children and grandchildren): 2 Daughters, Christian 17 and Mikela 24

Occupation: Business Management and Political Consultant

Previous Political Experience: I have volunteered and have worked on numerous campaigns, however I have never held office.

Qualifications: For over 20 years I have led local efforts to drive change in communities in Greater Cincinnati region. Most recently, I have been involved in efforts to ensure fairness within the criminal justice system and the jury selection process. I have worked alongside state legislators and state court judges on judicial reform efforts. I have also taken up numerous causes for marginalized and oppressed communities.

I am a public policy and social change expert, with proven leadership skills and broad and varied experience that crosses several sectors, including non-profit, government, business, and entrepreneurship. My business, Cultural Impact, LLC specializes in providing management consulting and training services to businesses and corporations. I have also worked as a college professor and a higher education administrator for nearly 15 years, with several years of experience overseeing multiple college departments. I served as Department Chair/ Dean of Students for business and accounting departments.

I have been a small business owner for many years. I have over 16 years of corporate operations experience, and I am an experienced senior level business and technology professional. I have held positions as a Business/ Information Technology Analyst with corporations such as General Electric, and I have worked as a Paralegal with the US Small Business Administration. I have also held positions as a Project Manager within the insurance industry, construction, and within corporate retail and the hospital departments.

I hold a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from The Ohio State University, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Concentration in Information Technology from Xavier University. Dr. Enoch is an MLK Scholar with a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Social Change from Union Institute & University.

Reason for seeking office: I am running for US Congress because I am fed up with wealthy Washington bureaucrats ignoring the voices of the American populace. I believe that Americans deserve elected officials who actually care about the people they are elected to serve. Like many Americans, I have watched in frustration as Congress has created policies that take hard-earned dollars from hardworking citizens, and line the pockets of the very rich. I have become incensed at the audacity of public officials who have blatantly passed healthcare and tax laws to the detriment of the majority of Americans. I am disgraced by the moral decay and the exploitation of women and children among legislators across the country. Legislators have turned a blind eye to issues such as mass incarceration, opioid addiction, and tainted water supply. And, rather than fix the problems they have instead cut funding to agencies designed to protect us and simply ignored the voices of constituents. We need real change and new leadership!

Goals for office if elected: I have several goals for office, my primary objective is to bring responsible governance to Capital Hill. In this effort, I plan to represent the interests of the 8th district to ensure the passage of legislation that is in the best interest of the 99 percent in the district. My goal is to ensure that resources flow back to the states to promote infrastructure and economic development to bring jobs to the region; to ensure affordable health care, quality education and education funding for children from preschool through higher education (including vocational training). I am also interested in secure funding for the states for treatment for the Opioid addiction. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, however among them is to work with my legislative peers to propose legislation that will improve the overall outcomes the district. I am currently particularly also interested in legislation that will help struggling seniors, the disabled, veterans, unions, the agricultural industry, manufacturing, the environment, and women and children.

What do you see as the greatest need to be addressed in the position you seek:

I believe that the greatest need to be addressed in the position that I seek is that as a nation we are facing a dying economy, a lack of confidence in government leadership, and strained race relations.

Our Congress is made up of elitists who lack morals and values, and seemingly have no understanding of what life is like for the majority of Americans. The current legislators in Washington are consumed with greed and self-interest, and they are making decisions based on those values. Current leaders are out of touch. We need to repeal and replace many of the members of US Congress.

We can also fix our dying economy by electing new leadership. New leadership will foster fresh ideas! We need a new wave of creativity, and in-touch citizen representatives, who understand challenges faced by working families.

Over the past decade, there has been an emerging race relations problem in this country. Many Americans believe strained relations will lead to a race war, hence the growth in gun sales, gun shops, and shooting ranges. We can solve our race relation’s problems peaceably by electing a more diverse congress, which better reflects the needs of the entire citizenry.


Four Dems seek U.S. 8th District seat

By Melanie Yingst