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Published: Wednesday, 9/19/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

FORUM AT UT

Candidates keep focus on women’s issues

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER
Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, seen here on Capitol Hill earlier this year, was among those in attendance at a candidates forum Tuesday night. Her Republican challenger, Samuel Wurzelbacher, did not respond to an invitation to the forum. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, seen here on Capitol Hill earlier this year, was among those in attendance at a candidates forum Tuesday night. Her Republican challenger, Samuel Wurzelbacher, did not respond to an invitation to the forum.
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Democratic candidates outnumbered their Republican counterparts in a candidates' forum focused on women's issues Tuesday night and attended by about 100 people.

The local chapters of two women's organizations — the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters — along with several other organizations sponsored the event, held at Scott Park Campus of the University of Toledo.

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), who is seeking re-election in the 9th Congressional District, said she supported pay equity and other issues backed by the women's organizations. She also said the Democratic Party is more reflective of women, saying all 16 Republicans running for Congressional seats in Ohio are men, while seven of the 16 on the Democratic side are women.

Ms. Kaptur's Republican opponent, Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher of Springfield Township, was invited but did not respond, according to Michelle Radtkin, president of the Toledo chapter of the AAUW.

Angela Zimmann, the Democratic candidate for the 5th Congressional District, blasted her absent opponent, U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green), saying he opposed a bill guaranteeing equal pay for equal work for women, that he is "anti-choice," and that he opposed the 2009 bailout of the auto industry.

"So there is a clear choice," said Ms. Zimmann of Springfield Township.

Mr. Latta was attending a Van Wert Farm Bureau dinner and candidates reception, according to his spokesman.

The Libertarian candidate for the 5th District, Eric Eberly, disagreed with Ms. Zimmann on government support for Planned Parenthood for fiscal reasons.

"I promise to fully support individual freedoms, work to eliminate class and gender preferences in law, and encourage all women to take responsibility for their own lives, and oppose any government intervention in choices involving their own bodies," Mr. Eberly said.

Ms. Zimmann said she does support federal funding of Planned Parenthood and has the endorsement of the national Planned Parenthood.

Asked how they would address violence in the Middle East, Mr. Eberly called for a lower U.S. profile.

"Our interventionist policies of picking their leaders is a big problem. We have a federal government that gives billions of dollars to hostile governments every year. We shouldn't be building roads and bridges in countries that are hostile to us," Mr. Eberly said.

Ms. Zimman said, "Violence is never the answer. Here in the United States our leaders need to model tolerance, acceptance, and nonviolent behavior."

The audience also heard from three candidates for Lucas County commissioner: Democrats Tina Skeldon Wozniak and Pete Gerken, and independent Kevin Haddad.

Jeff Bunck (D., Monclova Township), who is running against State Rep. Barbara Sears (R., Monclova Township) in the 47th District, said he opposes term limits and supports the proposed measure to put the drawing of congressional and statehouse districts into the hands of an appointed independent panel.

"I don't like that the politicians through gerrymandering get to pick their voters rather than the voters picking their politicians," Mr. Bunck said. Ms. Sears was not present.

David Kissinger of Maumee, the only Republican on the nine-person panel, said he opposed the creation of a redistricting panel, saying the government that governs best is the one closest to the people.

"We have the ability to elect and choose who our representatives are. I don't believe we should just throw out the current system because some people did not like how the results turned out," Mr. Kissinger said. His opponent, state Rep. Matt Szollosi, was absent.

Schuyler Beckwith, Mr. Gerken's executive assistant, represented U.S. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio). The two-hour forum was moderated by news anchor Kristian Brown of  WTVG-13, Channel 13.



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