When U.S. Congressman

Steve LaTourette, who represented Twinsburg, surprised constituents months ago by announcing his retirement, he cited the partisan gridlock in Congress as the reason. LaTourette is what passes for a moderate in Republican circles today, voting with his party "only" 86 percent of the time. So as District 14 Republican David Joyce takes over the seat, will we have another so-called moderate, or someone more partisan?

Comments made thus far by Joyce suggest a more partisan legislator. Joyce has indicated that he disagreed with some of LaTourette's votes, including a vote against holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over the ATF operation known as "Fast and Furious." The attempt by Republicans in Congress to smear Holder by suggesting he was hiding something about the program, initiated under Bush, was a textbook example of a witch hunt.

Also disappointing were Joyce's comments about gun violence, which were relevant in his own jurisdiction as Geauga County prosecutor after the shootings at Chardon High. Joyce says that he doesn't "necessarily think guns are the issue." Really? I think we can assume from that comment that he would oppose any reasonable effort to limit access to high-powered weapons or excessive ammunition magazines.

Finally, Joyce indicated that he is part of the new hyper-partisan crowd that thinks even disaster relief is an issue to be exploited for political gain. Specifically, he would like to see justification for any monies spent to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. Disaster relief used to be a no-brainer, until Tea-Partiers saw even that as an opportunity to demand cuts in spending. Some Republicans at least recognize this as going too far, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Rep. Peter King.

If Joyce votes as partisan as he sounds, I think he deserves to serve only one term.

John A. Denker, Twinsburg