FINDLAY, OH (WTOL) – U.S. Congressman Bob Latta introduced himself to his new district on Monday night. Thanks to redistricting by Ohio republicans, Latta now has to get to know Hancock County.
Latta spoke at the fall dinner of the Hancock County Republicans, held at the University of Findlay. Under the current District 5, Latta does not represent Hancock County but that will change when redistricting takes effect, provided it's not blocked by court challenges or a referendum.
The family of Latta's father, former U.S. Congressman Del Latta, is from McComb and Bob Latta says he has gotten to know the people there from his youth to adulthood. He told the crowd he can't wait to get to know the people there and represent them in Congress.
Latta was joined at the dinner by the man who currently serves Hancock County, 4th District Congressman Jim Jordan. Jordan loses Hancock County under redistricting, but gains areas further north like downtown and East Toledo.
Latta says it will be a challenge to get to know the people and geography of his new district. "You know, it's kind of bittersweet. I'm losing a good chunk of my district but I'm also picking up a lot of good folks like here in Hancock County and Hardin County and Mercer and up in Lucas County," Latta said.
Congressman Jordan added, "It's a different district and now I look at it as a new challenge. You get to meet new families, new business owners, new people, new taxpayers. So I am looking forward to meeting families all up in north central and northwest Ohio. All across our district."
Both congressmen have to proceed like redistricting will go through. They have to file petitions to run for reelection by December 7 and then must get ready for the March primary. They say they will work with each other to hand over the reins in Hancock County to Latta.
Also at the Republican dinner in Findlay, was Governor John Kasich. But before his arrival, a group of about 50 protesters gathered outside the Alumni Memorial Union at the university.
They spoke out against Issue 2, the law that would limit the collective bargaining rights of public workers. As GOP supporters were walking into the dinner, the protesters yelled for them to vote "no" on November 8.
The governor said the push for approval of Issue 2 is not his biggest focus right now, but he is hoping for a good outcome. "They come to these dinners and everything and they participate in politics and they always seem to be disappointed. Now they have a chance to say, 'Hey, these folks are doing something, and you know it's exciting.' That's what I like. Tell them what we're doing and why we're doing it," the governor said.
He also told the crowd at the dinner that it's fair to every Ohioan to ask public workers to pay 15 percent of their health care and 10 percent of their guaranteed pension.
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