Mr. Kraus, who is running against Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher for the GOP nomination, in response to a question about his support for the Second Amendment, said, "It's our duty to have arms to protect ourselves from a government that's out of control."
After his speech before 30 people at the Fallen Timbers Republican Club meeting at the Browning Retirement Center near Waterville, Mr. Kraus said he was not espousing "anarchy or taking up arms against the government." But he noted that the Founding Fathers advocated a "well-armed militia for the defense of the country."
As part of his platform, Mr. Kraus, a political newcomer, is an advocate for smaller government. "All we need is for the government to get out of the way," he said. "If I could earn your trust, I'd like to abolish the EPA or at least neuter them ... and take their regulatory authority away from them."
He told the Waterville Republicans he would champion causes such as a balanced budget. "I was taught to live within your means and if you don't have they money, you don't buy it," he said to applause.
He admitted he faces an uphill battle in a newly reconstituted 9th District that heavily favors Democrats and would need support from Independents and swing voters to succeed.
"I could get every Republican vote and still not win the race," he said.
He cited energy independence as part of his platform, saying Ohio should be allowed to drill under Lake Erie, which he said holds 3 trillion cubic yards of natural gas that is off limits on the U.S. side.
Part of his energy program would encourage technology that uses thorium, a natural radioactive chemical element, as a safe fuel for use in a nuclear reactor. India and China are pursuing its use and northwest Ohio, with the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant, would be a logical place for the United States to pursue its own program, he said.
Mr. Kraus, a Huron auctioneer and a licensed Realtor with Prudential Stadtmiller Realty, grew up in Erie County, graduating from Sandusky High School in 1977. He joined the Air Force at 18 and was a staff sergeant serving as an electronics warfare technician for 11 years, serving deployments in the Philippines, Japan, Germany, and Panama.
Mr. Wurzelbacher of Springfield Township spoke at the same venue last month.
The winner of the Republican primary will face the winner of the Democratic nomination, which is between longtime political veterans U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) and U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D., Cleveland), and political newcomer Graham Veysey of Cleveland.
Also addressing the group was James Jensen, a Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge seeking an open seat on the Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals. His opponent is Judge Robert Christiansen of Toledo Municipal Court.
Contact Jim Sielicki at: email@example.com or 419-724-6050.