GREENVILLE — U.S. Congressman Warren Davidson was the guest of honor at the Darke County Chamber of Commerce “Legislative Luncheon,” held Wednesday at Romer’s Catering in Greenville, using the occasion to voice his support of the Republican Party’s presidential ticket.
The event was co-hosted by the Celina-Mercer and Preble County Chambers, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Area Action Council for Darke, Mercer and Preble Counties.
Davidson (R-Troy) was on hand to give a “State of the Nation” talk to Chamber members. He won a June 7 special election to represent Ohio’s 8th Congressional District, filling the unexpired term of former Representative John Boehner, who resigned in October. He defeated 14 other GOP hopefuls in the March 15 primary election.
“This time last summer if you told me that I would be the newest member of Congress, I would not have believed you,” Davidson said.
He told those gathered that while his two months in Washington, D.C., have been “overwhelming” at times, he looks at his responsibilities to voters in the same way he performed his duties as a U.S. Army Ranger.
“There’s a lot of votes that are cast, a lot of issues going on, and a lot of opinions about how to go,” he said. “So with the spirit of the oath that I swore, with the spirit of…as the representative of this district, and frankly, if the country had more of the kind of values and the culture, and the good things that are going on here, we’d be in better stead.”
Davidson is seeking to be reelected this November 8 to serve a full two-year term in Congress. He will face off against Democrat Steve Fought and Green Party candidate James Condit Jr.
When asked if he planned to officially endorse Donald Trump, Davidson provided a less-than-wholehearted endorsement of the Republican presidential nominee, but did cast himself firmly in the “anti-Hillary” camp.
“That’s been a question all year, and the answer has been the same for me all year,” he said. “The only thing really predictable in presidential politics this year is Hillary Clinton is the Democrat nominee. So we all could have guessed that last summer, but if you would have said that the Republican race had gone the way it had, or frankly that Bernie Sanders came close, that would have been unpredictable.”
“But we were all expecting Hillary Clinton to be at the top of the ticket on the Democrat side, and I’ve spent the entire year as a candidate saying, ‘Anybody but Clinton’ — ‘ABC.’ First, second, third priority for me in the presidential race is, Hillary Clinton is not our next president, and as a former soldier, I think it’s incredibly important that she’s not our next Commander in Chief. So Trump/Pence is the only way that’s not going to happen,” he added.
Matt Owen, executive director of the Preble County Chamber of Commerce, asked Davidson a question regarding the Affordable Care Act. Sam Custer, OSU Agriculture Extension Educator, questioned the representative about Congressional funding for agriculture research and development. Ty Baker-Baumann, NFIB Chairman of Ohio, queried Davidson on the effects of government regulations on small businesses. Chamber of Commerce President Sharon Deschambeau asked Davidson’s thoughts on the Department of Labor’s new overtime regulations.
Davidson was scheduled to attend a town hall event with Republican Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence in Moraine, Ohio, later in the afternoon.
Following the question-and-answer session, Deschambeau presented Davidson with a certificate naming him as an “honorary member” of the Chamber, though noting, with laughter, that he “cannot vote” with the Chamber.
Student representatives from the “We are the Majority” group lead attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance. The group is a youth-led program of Darke County 7th through 12th graders.
The group began in February 2012 in response to a countywide community needs assessment regarding use of drugs and alcohol by youth in the county. Its purpose is to promote the reality that the majority of United States teens are drug and alcohol free. The group started in collaboration between the Tri-County Board of Mental Health & Addictions and the Recovery & Wellness Centers of Midwest Ohio.
Accompanying the students were Tri-County Board of Directors Chairman Dennis Butts; Tri-County Board Executive Director Mark McDaniel; Recovery & Wellness Executive Director Cynthia Cook; and Student Advisor Kelly Harrison with Recovery & Wellness.
Premier Health was the luncheon sponsor. Silver sponsors were Romer’s Catering and Second National Bank.