By Dan Yount
The Cincinnati Herald
Congressman Steve Chabot, a Republican, faces Councilman Greg Landsman, a Democrat and Cincinnati City Council member, for U.S. representative in the November 8 General Election in the newly created Ohio congressional District 1.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has named Ohio’s 1st District as one of their top races in the country.
District 1 now includes all of Cincinnati and Warren County , plus Amberley, Anderson, Arlington Heights, Blue Ash, Columbia, Deer Park, Delhi, Elmwood, Evendale, Fairfax, Golf Manor, Indian Hill, Loveland (Hamilton County), Sharonville (Partial), Silverton, St. Bernard, Springboro (Partial), Sycamore, Symmes and Terrace Park.
A lifelong Cincinnatian, Steve Chabot previously served as a Cincinnati City Councilman and Hamilton County Commissioner for nearly 5 years in each position prior to his election to Congress in 1994. He is in his 12th term.
Chabot is a 1971 graduate of LaSalle High School. He went on to earn his undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary. He returned to Cincinnati to teach at St. Joseph’s School in the West End and enrolled at Northern Kentucky University’s Salmon P. Chase College of Law in the evening, where he earned his law degree. He taught political science at the University of Cincinnati and chaired the Boy Scouts of Cincinnati.
Born and raised in Greater Cincinnati, Landsman attended public schools before going to Ohio University to study Economics and Political Science. After college, he worked as a public high school teacher. In the aftermath of 9/11, he was inspired to study faith and religion. He earned a Master’s Degree in Theology from Harvard and later went on to serve as Governor Strickland’s Director of Faith Based and Community Initiatives, where he led Ohio’s efforts to help churches and synagogues provide education and food programs.
After working for Governor Strickland, he helped run Cincinnati’s nationally-renowned National Underground Railroad Freedom Center before working in education advocacy as Executive Director of the StrivePartnership. In 2017, he was elected to Cincinnati City Council.
A former public school teacher, Landsman says he is a staunch advocate for Southwest Ohio families, having spent much of his career fighting for working families, having successfully led the Preschool Promise which now provides two years of quality preschool for Cincinnati’s three and four year olds. In his fifth year as a Cincinnati Councilman, he said he is now running for Congress to make government work for us by lowering costs, repairing our roads and bridges, and making it easier to raise a family.
He says the new footprint of the district makes the race more competitive.
On City Council, Landsman says he has proven to be a strong voice for children and families across the region on issues of housing, jobs, environmental issues, and public safety. He helped shepherd the largest investment in repairing roads and bridges ever in Hamilton County. He said he believes that our elected officials must work for us, not wealthy donors or party bosses. That’s why he established Cincinnati City Hall’s first ever Office of Ethics and Good Government and the Balanced Development Scorecard – to support ethics compliance, hold officials accountable and increase transparency.
On City Council, Landsman points out that he successfully fought for wage increases and hazard pay for first responders. He also helped lead the effort for the first Project Labor Agreement in city history, creating hundreds of good paying jobs on city projects.
“It is essential that the rights of workers to organize for better wages and benefits are protected and expanded,”he said.” From the teacher strikes of the last few years to the organizing efforts at Starbucks and in workplaces across the country, it is vital that we protect the rights of workers.” In addition, he said will fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour and expand access to high-quality and affordable childcare.
Landsman said he will never back down in the fight for the rights of everyone to make their own medical decisions. In Ohio and in D.C., legislators are working to strip away basic rights for women. “It is not the place of the government to dictate the decisions that Americans make about their own bodies. Politicians don’t belong in decisions made between a woman and her doctor.
Now that the Supreme court has overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade case, Republicans in Ohio and across the country are pushing to ban abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest. “They want to criminalize women and the doctors who care for them. I will oppose any efforts to undermine the privacy between a woman and her doctor, and I support the codification of the rights afforded by Roe v. Wade on the federal level,” he added.
He said his steadfast support for children and families extends to prenatal care. “It is essential to keep mothers as healthy as possible. I will work to address the racial discrepancies in maternal mortality to ensure that every child born in OH-District 1 has the support needed to thrive,” he said.
In 2016, Landsman spearheaded the Cincinnati Preschool Promise campaign, building a coalition of educators, advocates, labor leaders and business executives to expand access to two years of quality preschool to thousands of three and four year olds in Cincinnati. “Early childhood education is key to childhood development, and this movement was crucial to improve school-readiness in Cincinnati,” he said.
“In Congress, I will continue to fight for more equitable access to education.”
On Council, Landsman said he has always fought for additional resources for the city’s police and fire departments. Greg successfully restored overtime pay for local police officers and rallied his colleagues to fund a second police recruit class for the first time in nearly 20 years, ensuring the department is fully staffed and our neighborhoods are safe. He added he has spent his time on Council strengthening the relationship between our communities and public safety officers.
In Congress, he said he would support the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act in order to restore and strengthen the original landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965. He also supports expanding voter registration and voting access, outlawing voter purges, increasing our election security, strengthening our ethics requirements, and establishing independent redistricting nationwide.”
He added he will proudly support the Equality Act to ensure that no one can be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Congress must provide much-needed relief for hard working families, he said. With the price of groceries and gas continuing to spiral, Landsman broke from his party and called for the suspension of the state and federal gas taxes, as well as lowering the costs of prescription drugs.
Landsman and his wife, Sarah, live in Mt. Washington with their two children, Maddie and Elijah.
Incumbent Congressman Steve Chabot continues to serve on the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Small Business and the Committee on Foreign Affairs (formerly the Committee on International Relations). He currently serves as Chairman of the Small Business Committee, having previously served as the Committee’s Ranking Member in 2007 and 2008. He also served as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific in 2013 and 2014, and Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution from 2001 to 2006.
Chabot notes he is one of Congress’ leading advocates for fiscal responsibility, voting consistently to eliminate wasteful spending and reduce the excessive tax burden on hard-working Americans. Nonpartisan taxpayer advocacy groups such as Citizens Against Government Waste, the Concord Coalition and the National Taxpayers Union have time and again rated him as one of the most pro-taxpayer members of Congress. The National Journal recently credited him as having the most conservative voting record in the U.S. House of Representatives during the last term of Congress.
As Congressman, Chabot served as one of 12 House Managers during the Senate impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton in January 1999. He says he received praise for his even-handed and thoughtful approach to the trial. He has also led efforts to pass product liability reform measures and toughen anti-drug laws. He is nationally recognized as an advocate for the rights of the unborn. Most importantly, he said he authored the ban on the practice of partial-birth abortion which is now the law of the land.
“After years of stagnant economic growth, Congress and the Trump Administration have pursued a pro-growth economic agenda – cutting regulations, reducing taxes, and letting American families keep more of their hard-earned money,” Chabot said. “As a result, our economy has come roaring back. Unemployment is the lowest it’s been in nearly 20 years, and the GDP grew an impressive 4.1 percent during the second quarter of 2018.”
Chabot says the American people deserve better than Obamacare. “Costs continue to skyrocket and far too many people are unable to purchase coverage for their families. That’s why I support repealing the massive healthcare power-grab by the federal government and replacing it with market-based reforms that will give American families more options at a lower cost.”
He said he also supports energy independence in America in a manner that does not threaten the environment, or kill job creation. “I believe we need to consider all available options including wind, solar, bio, nuclear and drilling right here at home. As part of that effort, I think we need to increase domestic oil production. That’s why I have been a strong proponent for the Keystone XL pipeline that will bring thousands of barrels of oil to the U.S. each day, not to mention, create thousands of American jobs – some of which will be created right here in Cincinnati at our Siemens plant.”
In regard to government spending, Chabot said he believes the federal government should be required to operate in a fiscally responsible manner, just as most American families and small businesses do. “The money being spent by the government is your money. That’s why I have been a consistent advocate for a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution. We are currently facing a national debt that exceeds $21 trillion. That’s more than $174,000 of debt per taxpayer. This is unacceptable. It’s time that Washington makes the tough decisions to stop wasteful government spending.”
Social Security represents a sacred contract with older Americans that should never be broken, he said.
He said he will always be a strong supporter of legislation and funding efforts that would ensure veterans access to medical care, education and financial services.
He noted Americans have to do a better job of protecting both students and faculty from these increasingly frequent threats. “Shortly after the shooting in Parkland, Florida, Cincinnati FOP President Dan Hils approached me with a common-sense proposal to bolster school security and help keep our children safe.
Foreign cyberattacks are becoming an increasingly dangerous threat, both to our government as well as to the private sector, Chabot said. “We saw firsthand during the 2016 election season, Vladimir Putin and his Russian cohorts are doing everything they can to interfere with Western democratic nations, to undermine our political systems as much as possible in order to cause chaos in every way imaginable. And that is something that should worry every American – Republican, Democrat or independent.”
Chabot and his wife Donna live in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Westwood. The Chabots have two adult children, and two grandchildren.