Representative Bob Latta and Wassenberg Art Center Director Hope Wallace examine plans for the renovation of the Van Wert Armory during Latta’s visit to Van Wert on Friday. (Times Bulletin/Ed Gebert)
BY ED GEBERT
Times Bulletin Editor
VAN WERT -With election season already in full swing, Congressman Bob Latta spent the day Friday in Van Wert County. No stranger to the area, Latta took time to tour some area businesses and to address fellow Republicans as they gathered for lunch at Willow Bend Country Club.Latta mentioned that he has seen a great number of manufacturing facilities throughout the 14 counties that make up the Ohio 5th Congressional District. In August alone he toured 80 different factories, farms and businesses, speaking with workers, management, and owners about doing business.
"This election is so crucial," explained Latta. "Yesterday I was in Paulding County all day. The day before that I was in Wyandot County all day. I visited five factories and a farm on Wednesday in Wyandot, and I visited five factories yesterday in Paulding... The only way I know how to do my job is to get out there."
On Friday, Latta stopped by Universal Lettering Company in Vision Industrial Park for a tour before heading just south to Eaton Corporation. After speaking at lunch, the congressman visited One Energy on Convoy Rd. and toured the former Van Wert Armory with Wassenberg Art Center Director Hope Wallace. Although each stop had individual points, Latta stated that there is a similarity to each stop.
"The top problem I hear from every business I go in, large or small, it's about regulations getting out of hand," he revealed. "I did not have one person say, 'I can't wait to have four more years of what we've just had!' I never heard one person ever say that!
During his talk to the G.O.P. luncheon, Latta encouraged those present to not only get out and vote early, but also to ask others to do likewise. That theme was repeated throughout the luncheon. Another theme was the campaign to defeat Issue Two. The question, if approved, would change the state Constitution to take the responsibility of redrawing congressional district lines away from elected state representatives and senators and give that job to an appointed panel.
"You've got to vote 'no' on issue Two. You've got to get everybody out. This is bad, bad, bad for the state of Ohio," Latta cautioned. "Once you put this commission in, and you put it in the Constitution, we're never going to get rid of it. You want those people in Columbus drawing those lines responsible to you, period."
But the congressman emphasized his experiences with the businesses and the people of the Fifth District as he summarized the importance of this election from his perspective.
He stated, "When I'm out, the number one issue across this district, across this state, it's one thing: It's jobs, jobs, jobs. And where are the jobs going to come from if we have four more years of what we just had?"
Latta was elected to Congress in 2007 following the death of former Rep. Paul Gillmor. His father, Del Latta, served the district for 30 years until his retirement at the end of 1988.