Greg Wheeler in the GOP Primary for the 13th Congressional District: Endorsement Editorial


After all the uncertainty surrounding redrawn legislative boundaries amid political sniper fire over how to enforce Ohio’s new anti-gerrymandering constitutional provisions, it’s refreshing to see renewed interest in the United States primary. GOP in the still-contested 13th congressional district, which spans all of Summit County. , half of Stark County and part of Portage County.

Instead of being discouraged by shifting boundary lines and an ongoing legal challenge to the map used in the May 3 primary, seven Republicans threw their hats into the ring and at least four are first-time candidates. . These “citizen candidates” seek to move private business directly into the halls of Congress.

The 13th District, as it is currently drawn, is also one of the few competitive congressional districts among Ohio’s 15 congressional seats (up from 16) after the 2020 census. Cook’s Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball both rate the 13th District as a “punch” between Republicans and Democrats, though Politico analysts consider it Republican-leaning. And “Republican leaning” is what the seven GOP primary candidates all hope it will be. The Democratic candidate, former Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes of Akron, has no opposition in the Democratic primary, so she can save her firepower for whichever of the seven makes it to the November ballot.

We urge Republican voters in the 13th District to choose Greg Wheeler, 33, of Norton, as their candidate.

Wheeler is a lawyer, entrepreneur and accountant. He displays an incisive wit, a pleasant demeanor and an imaginative side, having co-founded and served as the CFO, from 2015 to 2018, for Balloon Agents, a company dedicated to training others to make balloon animals. Wheeler, who grew up in the Barberton area and attended Copley High School, showed off her personal prowess making balloon animals at a recent 13th Congressional District campaign event. A first-time candidate, Wheeler also espouses traditional GOP values, promising to work in Washington to reduce inflation and rein in reckless government spending.

Santana F. King, 25, of North Royalton (one of three candidates in this race to live just over the district line in southern Cuyahoga County) is also impressive among first-time candidates . King is a national security and cybersecurity consultant with a Washington-based background that provides an in-depth understanding of foreign and domestic security and energy security issues. He is rightly concerned about the current international instability and the rise of malevolent actors on the world stage and wants to refocus the GOP’s attention on this important area. However, King needs to broaden his scope for his upcoming candidacy, to help him understand the national economic issues that are now at the forefront of many people’s minds.

We also continue to love Shay Hawkins, 47, of Broadview Heights, an attorney and president of a trade association, The Opportunity Funds Group, who has extensive Capitol Hill experience and ran unsuccessfully two years ago. at the State Legislative Office. He displays a mastery of many issues, with an infectious optimism about both life and the Republican Party, but we continue to be troubled by what appears to be a deliberate lack of clarity about where he stands on key issues, such as federal investments in protecting the Great Lakes. Voters should be informed of the details of how a candidate would act on issues important to that region.

Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, 30, of North Canton, a conservative columnist and commentator who was endorsed by Donald Trump in this race, did not respond to repeated attempts by the editorial board to contact her as part of our endorsement process. .

Janet Folger Porter, 59, of Hinckley in Medina County, anti-abortion activist and president and founder of Faith2Action Ministries, is also up for the GOP nomination; Dante N. Sabatucci, 53, of Cuyahoga Falls, a first-time candidate and small business owner whose businesses include a technology/cybersecurity consulting firm, a baseball academy and a real estate company; and Ryan Saylor, 27, from Stow, a construction project engineer who is also making his first run for public office. All are serious and committed, but currently lack the scope and knowledge to be an effective member of Congress.

Greg Wheeler has that range and those insights, and the demeanor, mindset, and skills to succeed not just in Washington, but also in November’s battle against Emilia Sykes. We urge Republican voters in the 13th congressional district to nominate Greg Wheeler in the May 3 ballot. Early voting has begun.

On April 20, 2022, as part of its endorsement process, the editorial board of The Plain Dealer and interviewed six of the seven GOP candidates in the May 3 primary for the 13th congressional district, which is currently configured on a contested map. picks up all of Summit County, about half of Stark County, and part of Portage County. Shay Hawkins, Santana F. King, Janet Folger Porter, Dante N. Sabatucci, Ryan Saylor and Greg Wheeler participated in the endorsement interview. The seventh candidate, Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, did not respond to repeated attempts to contact her. Listen to the audio of this interview below:

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