LIMA — Democratic congressional candidate Janet Garrett is no stranger to the Lima area, having previously run for the seat currently occupied by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, in 2012. Garrett sees herself as the antithesis of her opponent, who she described as a “waterboy” to corporate donors with no regard for the middle class during an address to area Democrats Friday at the Lima Democratic campaign headquarters.
“There are so many people who are so frustrated with our government,” she said. “That’s the reason I’m running, because I’m frustrated with it. It’s just not responsive to the middle class and the poor. The middle class is a minority now for the first time since World War II, and that’s unacceptable. I think it’s because of the gridlock and lack of priorities.”
While Garrett acknowledged that, if elected, she would have to know how to seek compromise with other representatives, she emphasized what her priorities would be going to Washington, D.C., including promoting workers, women and minorities, as well as protecting seniors and the environment. However, the biggest impediment she sees is wealthy special interests using money to sway policy.
“We’ve got to get the big money out of our politics,” she said. “I don’t care if it’s legal. It’s corruption.”
As a former teacher, education was also a high priority for Garrett. Sharing that emphasis was fellow speaker Tanyce Addison, running for a seat on the state Board of Education. Although she identifies as a Democrat, Addison pointed out that this race, with three other candidates also seeking the seat, is non-partisan.
“Children are not Republican or Democrat,” she said. “They are children, and that is the pure reason that I’m running.”
Also a career educator, Addison is hoping to lift the burden of what she perceives as excessive student testing, which gives teachers no chance to actually educate.
“The testing is making children be defined by their test scores,” she said. “It’s defining our teachers, districts and communities. The indicators are showing that we’re not doing a good job when we are.”
Addison is also calling for greater autonomy for local school districts, as well as greater accountability and restrictions for the state’s charter schools.
“Taking needed resources and filling the pockets of the profiteers and not the minds of the children has to stop,” she said.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.