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A Monclova Township church minister said Friday he is strongly considering a run against U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) for the 5th Congressional District seat in November.
And a Cuyahoga County Republican has taken out petitions to run against U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo).
The deadline for candidates to file signature petitions for the May 6 primary ballot for Congress, statewide office, statehouse seats, and county government offices is Feb. 5.
Robert Fry, 63, a Democrat, of Toledo, senior pastor of Heritage Church of God on Strayer Road, said Mr. Latta’s refusal to end a 16-day government shutdown in October was the event that prompted him to decide to make the run. This would be his first run for political office.
“I just don’t think he’s doing his job,” Mr. Fry said. “He doesn’t vote with the workers. I think I can win if given a fair shot. It’s people over money.”
Mr. Latta, 57, intends to seek re-election, according to his chief of staff, Ryan Walker. He declined to comment on Mr. Fry’s candidacy.
Miss Kaptur’s potential GOP opponent in the 9th District is Robert C. Horrocks, Jr., of Lakewood, Ohio. Mr. Horrocks took out signature petitions from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, a first step at running for office. He could not be reached for comment.
Miss Kaptur, who would be seeking her 17th term in Congress, is running for the second time with a large section of Cuyahoga County in her district, as a result of redistricting in 2011. The district extends from west-central Toledo along Lake Erie into west Cleveland.
Lucas County Republican Chairman Jon Stainbrook said the GOP will have “a good, viable candidate” to run against Miss Kaptur. A more serious worry on the part of Miss Kaptur in the heavily Democratic district is that somebody would challenge her in the Democratic primary from Cuyahoga County, which has more voters in the district than Lucas County. However, no Democrats have announced their interest in the primary.
Mr. Stainbrook expressed confidence in Mr. Latta’s re-election. “Bob Latta is the most solid, strong congressman in the state of Ohio. He’s very well-respected by everyone in his district,” Mr. Stainbrook said.
Mr. Fry, a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, says he has conservative positions on issues that could undercut Mr. Latta’s political support in the 14-county 5th District.
He is a long-time gun owner and said he is “not going to mess with the Second Amendment.” He also said he is “pro-life” on abortion, believing that life begins at conception. He said he would work to improve the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, rather than repeal it, as Mr. Latta would like to do.
Mr. Fry grew up in Paulding County, graduated from Delphos-Jefferson High School in Van Wert County, and used to work in Defiance. He served in the Navy from 1969-73, primarily at a naval base in Maryland where he worked as an aviation electrician.
After leaving the military he worked several jobs while obtaining a bachelor’s degree at Midwestern Baptist College in Michigan. He has been married to his wife, Terry, 33 years, and has three grown children from a previous marriage.
Mr. Fry has pastored Heritage Church for 28 years. The church began as North Cove Boulevard Church of God and moved in 1999.
The Democratic nominee in 2012, Lutheran minister Angela Zimmann of Springfield Township, lost to Mr. Latta by 57 to 39 percent.
Mr. Latta aroused fury among Democrats and independents and even among some Republicans in October when he supported a federal government partial shutdown in a failed effort to defund the Affordable Care Act.
A bill ending the shutdown passed the GOP-controlled House 285-144 on Oct. 16, with Mr. Latta voting “no.” The vote put him on the same side as the Tea Party but against House Speaker John Boehner (R., West Chester, Ohio) and even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. More recently, Mr. Latta sided with Mr. Boehner against the Tea Party to approve a two-year budget and avoid another shutdown.
Contact Tom Troy at email@example.com or 419-724-6058.