Jim Jordan, the Congressman representing Ohio’s Fourth Congressional District, once claimed that anyone opposing lower corporate taxes was “unpatriotic.” This sets the tone for the battle in the heavily gerrymandered district which runs from deep blue Elyria south and west through rural red zones. He has represented the region — well, he occupies the seat at least — for the last ten years.
In fact, Jim Jordan, for all his anti-government Tea Party sentiment, has spent his entire adult life climbing the ranks of an entity he’d like to see smothered. He is the chair of the so-called “Freedom Caucus,” and their recently-updated agenda includes protecting discrimination against the LGBT community (First Amendment Defense Act PDF) and shredding the social safety net (Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act PDF). Indeed, his most obvious skill seems to be coming up with misleading names for things.
Enter Janet Garrett.
Janet, a retired schoolteacher, union president, and activist who taught in the Peace Corps, is everything Jim Jordan isn’t. She is unabashedly progressive in a deep red gerrymandered district, she is on the street talking (and listening) to constituents, and she is representing the regular folks in the district.
The idea to run for office didn’t come from a place of political aspirations, but rather from a strong desire to see Jordan unseated. A group of concerned Fourth District citizens banded together under the nickname “Jordan Watch” to keep an eye on the votes and statements of the rep, and soon came to the realization that someone needed to step up and be the force to unseat him.
Upon asking Marcy Kaptur — a well-known Ohio progressive representing the Ninth District — who would be best suited to run, it was suggested that Janet was that person. Two years later and the Janet Garrett campaign is well underway.
One thing that sets Janet’s website apart from most politicians is the inclusion of FDR’s Second Bill of Rights (see bottom of page). Not only does she suggest fighting for these goals, she goes on to add a few more. She’s a natural fit for those who want to see the Political Revolution succeed.
Here’s the caveat: In 2014, Jim Jordan took home two out of every three votes, winning by a wide margin. Gerrymandering is a powerful tool unless you have funding, name recognition, and a strong grassroots effort like the Political Revolution behind you, and 2014 tells us how hard we’ll need to work over these next six weeks.
Janet won Lorain County, the largest of the fourteen counties in the district, by ten points in 2014 as a write-in candidate with no budget. This year, with our help on the phones, canvassing and donations, we can spread that success across the district and deliver Ohio’s Fourth to Janet Garrett in November.