By Tammy Watts
GREENVILLE — Phil Heimlich, a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, spoke with local media about pertinent issues, and changes he would implement if elected. After re-districting, the 8th Congressional District now includes half of Hamilton County, where Heimlich resides. He is running in Ohio’s Republican primary, against incumbent Congressman Warren Davidson.
Heimlich began his career as assistant Hamilton County prosecutor, served on Cincinnati City Council for eight years, and spent four years as a Hamilton County Commissioner. He is a self-described pro-democracy Republican, and believes purging “Trumpism” within the party is a priority. Aware that 82 percent of Darke County voted for former President Trump in 2020, Heimlich touted his conservative values as being consistent with those of local residents.
Known for being the Cincinnati City Council’s most conservative member, Heimlich staunchly supported law enforcement, initiated the city’s teen curfew, and passed laws restricting strip clubs and adult stores.
Now, with sights set on the national stage, Heimlich believes supporting Ukraine is imperative.
“The greatest moment in American history was in 1987 when President Ronald Reagan was in Berlin, and said ‘Mr. Gorbechev, tear down this wall,’ Heimlich stated. “I consider myself a Reagan Republican, not a Putin Republican,” he said of his opponent, a West Point graduate and former Army Ranger.
“Davidson agrees with Putin that there are Nazis in Ukraine, and boasts about voting against military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine,” Heimlich added.
The Azov Battalion, formed in 2014, became a political party in 2016, and has grown in influence ever since. A 2019 article appearing in Haaretz, exposed neo-Nazis within the group, and its ties to known Nazi sympathizers internationally.
“I’m not saying there aren’t Nazis in the Ukraine, but parroting the lines of a dictator at this time, is the same as if a Congressman had said Osama Bin Laden’s statements held ‘grains of truth,’ after the 9/11 attacks,” Heimlich explained.
Davidson voted no on the 2,741-page fiscal year 2022 appropriations bill, signed by President Joe Biden in March. The law contains a one-time aid package of $13.6 billion, providing for military, humanitarian, and economic aid to Ukraine. It includes $25 million for the US Agency for Global Media, to combat “disinformation” in news broadcasts overseas, and another $120 million to support local Ukraine activists and journalists. By contrast, the European Union (EU), as of April 6, has given 1 billion euros ($1,049,600,000), according to EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell. Davidson has stated that he would like to see European countries contribute a fair share, and that the U.S. should not be bearing the brunt.
While his focus remained on Ukraine, Heimlich touched on other issues of concern, such as inflation and education.
“Reasons for inflation are printing and borrowing money that Congress spends. Obama’s deficits were big; Trump’s were bigger. There was a $3.1 trillion deficit the last year of Trump’s administration. It comes from not living within our means,” Heimlich stated.
As to how sex education, and gender orientation and identity, are approached in elementary school classrooms, Heimlich said, “I am 100 percent against those concepts being introduced to young children, but I believe decisions should be made by local schools on what to teach and what not to teach. Trust the local Boards of Education, not Columbus, not Washington, D.C.”
Ohio’s primary election is Tuesday, May 3.