30 Sep Findlay Courier: U.S. House Endorsement
Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, is not flashy or fiery. You won’t see many Latta sound bites on Fox or CNN. He rarely draws front-page headlines.
More likely, you’ll find the Bluffton native working the Paulding County fair, touring a new business in Defiance, or attending a Republican Party gathering in Van Wert.
Latta, who is seeking his sixth term in the U.S. House, has found a niche to his liking in the 5th Congressional District, which includes 14 counties in northwestern and west-central Ohio, including Hancock, Wood, Putnam, Hardin and Wyandot counties.
What Latta does best is win elections, usually handily, just like his father, Delbert, did in the 5th District, which he served for 30 years (1959-1989). We have no reason to believe it will be any different for Bob Latta this November, and support him for re-election.
His opponent, James Neu Jr. of Perrysburg, is an up-and-comer on the Democratic side. His Facebook page suggests he has campaigned hard, but he is still a relative unknown in the district. An employee of Chrysler and a volunteer firefighter in Perrysburg Township, his strongest backing will likely come from unions, yet he will need more than that to beat Latta.
Latta, of course, benefits from a heavily agricultural district that is stacked with Republicans, making it nearly impossible for a Democrat to break through.
Yet that’s not to say Latta hasn’t earned his way. He has, if only because he maintains a high level of constituency service. He spends much time in the district, is highly visible, accessible and approachable.
Few politicians stay so close to home and we believe his man-on-the-street style goes a long way toward keeping him in office.
Latta may fly under the radar, but he has firmly established himself in Washington, acquiring positions that provide influence on matters of great importance to those in his district.
He sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and is vice chairman of its communications and technology subcommittee. The committee deals with a wide range of affairs, including domestic energy production, environmental protection, food and drug safety, public health and trade policy, as well as internet and TV regulation and infrastructure.
Following the Toledo water crisis in 2014, it was Latta who authored the Drinking Water Protection Act to provide for the assessment and management of the risk of algal toxins in drinking water.
Latta has also has brought attention to veterans affairs in recent years and has been a steady opponent of the Affordable Care Act. Both are issues of importance to many throughout the district.
Neu, like Latta, was unchallenged in the primary election. So far, the challenger’s campaign has failed to generate much attention, however, and it will be difficult for him to unseat the incumbent.
But if Neu’s campaign has been low-profile and unremarkable, Latta’s has, too. The difference is most of the district already knows Latta, and finds more to like, than dislike, about his style and his politics. So do we.