By Portia Williams
October 20, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
Jennifer Garrison, democratic candidate for the 6th Congressional District, attended the Scioto County Democratic Party Fall Dinner held Thursday. Garrison, an attorney, practices law in Marietta, Ohio.
Garrison said her middle class upbringing has given her first hand knowledge of how she should operates.
“I was raised outside of the Cincinnati area. My dad is one of 19. He is a union member, one of 11 brothers and they were all in the union,” Garrison said.
Her childhood experiences framed her mindset of middle class.
“What that showed me is that is a way for the middle class to have a living wage, and to be able to educate their children and to retire in dignity. That is the reason that I am running, because I think we are losing our middle class,” Garrison said.
As an undergraduate, she attended Garrison was a law student in Washington D.C. In addition to practicing law, Garrison is the wife and mother of three.
“My husband Russ and I moved back to Ohio 23 years ago. We have three children, our daughter Emily who is a junior in college, our son Sam is a sophomore in college,” she said.
Both of elder children are engineering students. Max, Garrison’s youngest, is an 8th grader.
Her husband Russ is an engineer and is employed with Dupont. Garrison said community involvement is a priority to their family.
According Garrison, she has served on the Domestic Violence Shelter board, the Mental Health board, as well as numerous efforts in fund raising for their children’s schools.
“In 2004 I decided to run for the Statehouse. I ran because of the unconstitutional funding and how it really hurts low-wealth districts,” Garrison said.
Garrison said the cost of living in these areas and the property values are far less comparatively.
After being elected into the legislature, Garrison said she worked on a constitutional school funding formula.
In 2009, Garrison worked her way to serving as the Majority Floor Leader.
“When the democrats took back the House, I worked with Todd Book, who is from here,” Garrison said.
Garrison left the legislature after serving three terms in 2010 and did not run re-election. Her next pursuit was starting a landowners group where she began to focus a new attention.
“I saw what was occurring in West Virginia and Pennsylvania where landowners were being taken advantage of by the big energy companies. I saw the best way to get the best deal for the landowner was to join together with their neighbors and negotiate their oil and gas minerals together,” she said.
As a result of those efforts, Garrison found results.
“I have leased 75,000 acres in five counties in eastern Ohio, and we’ve brought $275 million to the landowners. The lease that we drafted was written up in the New York Times as a very good land and water protection lease,” Garrison said.
As Garrison gears up for her campaign for Congress, she said her message will be tangible.
“I will tell you that my campaign for Congress is going to be about results, just as it has been for the things I have done in the past, versus the rhetoric,” Garrison said.
She says the difference between her and her opponent will be results rather than rhetoric.
“The only thing that I have seen out of Bill Johnson is telling me what he doesn’t stand for, and really negative press releases against the President, or the Democrats, but never telling me what he’s doing,” Garrison said.
Garrison said her campaign will be completely different from Johnson’s approach.
“I will be completely different. When I was in the legislature, I worked across party lines and got results,” she said.
Concerning the recent Government shutdown, Garrison said she opposes Johnson’s vote.
Garrison noted that there were Republicans, such as Rob Portman that voted to re-open the Government with a lower spending level.
“I think that not voting to re-open government was irresponsible. I am running because I think that we need to get back to the issues that people care about. I think that we need to make sure that we have a strong middle class,” Garrison said.
She said job growth should be one of the highest priorities.
“That is what people care about. They want to have a decent job. We want to do all that we can to encourage job growth,” Garrison said.
Garrison has been endorsed by the State Building Trades, ACT Ohio, and the Tri-County Building Trades.
“I have always worked with the teachers well, and have been endorsed by them in the past and hope to do so again. I am a pro-union Democrat. I think that labor is the way we provide a living wage to our people.”
Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Portia on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.