GREENVILLE — State Rep. Tim Derickson greeted Darke Countians Thursday at Montage in downtown Greenville, part of his effort to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Derickson is seeking the open 8th District seat vacated by former U.S. Rep. John Boehner, who resigned last fall. His first step is winning the Ohio Republican Primary election March 15, he said.
The Republican candidates for the seat include Derickson, Ohio State Sen. Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City), Tipp City businessman Scott George and Troy teacher J.D. Winteregg, among a number of others.
Derickson, who resides with his wife Kelly, in Oxford, Ohio, has served in the Ohio House since 2008, representing the state’s 53rd District. Prior to that, Derickson was a Hanover Township Trustee.
Rep. Jim Buchy (R-Greenville) was on hand at the event to announce his official endorsement of Derickson for Congress, saying, “I’ve known Tim for more than 30 years. When I was first elected to the Ohio House in 1982, Tim was a constituent of mine. His family were dairy farmers, very strong in agriculture, and we became friends and have been good friends ever since.”
When asked what stands out about Derickson versus the other Republican candidates, Buchy said, “He’s smart, he works well with people, he gets things done — he doesn’t do it with bright lights and Broadway. He’s conservative, he’s honest to the core, he’s a man of faith.”
Derickson expressed gratitude for Buchy’s endorsement, saying “It’s everything to me.”
“I’ve known Jim to be a hard worker. He works hard for his constituents here, and I know what he does in Columbus. Jim’s been a real mentor to me, and now, to earn his support, means a lot,” he said.
Workforce development and the quality of life for working Americans are important priorities for Derickson, subjects he plans to address in Washington, D.C., if elected to Congress.
“Now on a federal level, it’s often referred to as ‘welfare reform,’ and we’ve heard about it for years,” he said. “What is kind of interesting though, is what we’ve learned on this [House] committee here in Ohio, is that there’s a bit of a formula: Engaging the church to help folks who really have some troubles in life. The church can do it better than the government. That’s step one.”
“Step two, social service agencies don’t always work well together, so government can help encourage that cooperation to help folks that have multiple challenges in their life.”
“Lastly, it takes a job. Taxes and regulations are where we can play a role in government, just to encourage entrepreneurs and job growth,” he added.
Not surprisingly, as a native of rural Ohio, agriculture is also an issue Derickson hopes to tackle inside the Beltway.
“I’m a little biased, but agriculture is obviously a big industry in this district, the whole state,” he said. “In this 8th District, ‘Ag’ is it. Fortunately for me, that’s my background. We were dairy farmers and it’s nice for me to be able to go into a community I’ve not been in before and be able to engage in conversation [on a topic] that I not only know, but understand.”
Derickson, when asked why he decided to run for Congress at this point in his political career, laughed, saying, “I didn’t plan on doing this. This was not part of the game plan. [I was] serving in my fourth [Ohio House] term, final term, totally at peace with not running anymore. [Then] Boehner leaves, a few people encourage me, including [Buchy].”
“I prayed about it a lot,” he added. “The public service that I have been involved with at the state level over the last eight years have been very rewarding. I’ve been productive, I do my job. To totally walk away from it, like I was prepared to do, that’s what I was supposed to do, I would miss it. So now that Boehner left, I honestly feel as qualified as anybody.”
Darke County Clerk of Courts Cindy Pike also offered her endorsement, saying, “The first time I met Tim, he spoke and I was impressed with him. There are many more candidates for the 8th District seat, and I didn’t know how I was going to choose, but being past chairman of the [Darke County] Republican Party, I’m always willing to help any candidate out. The more I spoke with him, the more I got to know him, I think he would be a good one to fill the big shoes that need to be filled.”
Derickson is a member of the National Rifle Association, Farm Bureau, Oxford Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce. For more on Derickson, visit his campaign website at www.dericksonforcongress.com.
Reporter Erik Martin may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.