by Conner Howard | reporter

Two Republican candidates with significant differences in their conservatism will compete for their party's nomination for Ohio's 14th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, with incumbent David Joyce (R, Ohio-14) facing challenger Matthew Lynch (R, Ohio House 76) in the May 6 primary.

The winner of the GOP primary will face democrat Michael Wager and libertarian David Macko for the seat in the November general election. Both Wager and Macko are unopposed in their respective parties' primary races.

While Joyce touts longtime GOP standards of fiscal conservatism and too-often, too-harmful legislation, Lynch is running on a platform of "Faith, Family and Freedom" and argues that Joyce is not conservative enough.

The incumbent Joyce, of Russell Township, was elected in 2012 following the retirement of Steven LaTourette and said he will look to repeal the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) and focus on job growth in Ohio's 14th district.

"When I was elected in 2012, I pledged that I would fight every single day in Washington for Northeast Ohio," Joyce said April 25. "Since then, I've woken up every morning remembering that promise and the people I represent in Ohio's 14th Congressional District.

"That's why I've fought to get Washington on a budget, repeal Obamacare, and improve the economy so we can bring more jobs back to Northeast Ohio. Together we've accomplished a lot, but the work isn't done yet."

Joyce said he plans to continue to protect taxpayers from what he considers wasteful spending and harmful legislation.

"I'll continue to make cutting wasteful spending a top priority, and not just by talking about it," Joyce said. "I actually introduced a bill that would cut $200 billion in government waste and duplicative programs. That's just Northeast Ohio common sense. I also returned more than $100,000 of my office's budget to the U.S. Treasury last year."

And Joyce said the "economic powerhouse" of the Great Lakes region is a crucial asset to all of Ohio.

"I'm also fighting for the Great Lakes, Northeast Ohio's greatest economic and environmental resource, by ensuring Lake Erie receives the funding it needs to continue to be an economic powerhouse and source of job creation."

LYNCH, representative of Ohio's 76th state congressional district in the Ohio House of Representatives and an attorney from Bainbridge Township, calls into question the incumbent's voting record.

Lynch said Joyce has shown an unwillingness to "stand up to" the democratic administration as well as "liberal republicans" in his own party.

"I think it's clear if you don't have the courage to stand up to your own party leadership, you'll never have the courage to stand up to Barack Obama," Lynch said. "Congressman Joyce voted to give the president unlimited ability to spend money and spend us into oblivion in Washington ... I never would have voted for that.

"I would have stood strong against the piling on of overwhelming debt onto the backs of our children and grandchildren and protected them from the financial crisis which is undoubtedly going to come if we don't change our way.

"In this environment, you have to stand strong because we're at a crisis point in our country and frankly, my opponent just doesn't recognize that."

Running in the primary on a platform of "Faith, Family and Freedom," Lynch said his campaign has resonated with voters who wish to see a return of conservative values in Washington, D.C. A major issue he hopes to address in Ohio's 14th District is illegal immigration and how it impacts the job market.

"We have to get the illegal immigrant problem under control because this is a job issue," Lynch said. "The illegal worker population is not only taking away jobs from American workers in the 14th District, but it is driving down wages.

"We just cannot allow it to continue and my opponent has failed to take any stance on this issue, but he appears postured to go forward with John Boehner and the rest of the republicans and grant amnesty to 50 million illegals in this country. That is going to hurt American workers and it's going to hurt workers in the 14th district."

Ohio's District 14 contains large portions of northeastern Summit County, all of Ashtabula, Lake, and Geauga counties, eastern Cuyahoga County, northern Trumbull County and northern Portage County.


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Twitter: @connerhowardRPC