Candidate Name: Mike Larsen
What office are you running for?
Congress, Ohio 4
With which party are you running for office?
Primary March 17, 2020
Why are you running for office?
I’m fed up with having no representation in Congress. My congressman refuses to meet with constituents, has authored no legislation to help our district, and doesn’t even fight for our tax dollars to come back to our communities. He prefers to engage in toxic partisanship instead of representative democracy. I had the privilege of working for a dedicated public servant, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, so I know what real leadership looks like. I can’t wait to show my neighbors in OH4 what it means to be a Representative.
What is the biggest issue facing your community and how do you propose helping?
A lack of connectivity in rural communities is killing our district. We need to partner with the Federal government to bring broadband to small towns throughout Central Ohio. Right now, small businesses can’t compete, students are falling behind their suburban peers, and basic services like 911 and trash pickup are substandard at best. Internet service is as important to our generation in small town America as telephone was to our parents or running water to our grandparents. This is a problem that CAN BE SOLVED. It just takes a congressperson willing to fight for his constituents instead of Washington partisans.
How do we fix the partisan divide in our country and start working together again?
When I first served on Capitol Hill, I played in a pickup basketball game every week with Democrats and Republicans. In fact, most of the players, I didn’t;t even know which party they were from. Then, when Barack Obama was elected, the Republicans stopped showing up. They’d received orders from the party bosses to stop socializing with Democrats. This is ridiculous. I will go out of my way to find common ground with Republicans. I have never had a problem with friends who don’t share my political views. I think the way we fix the divide is for every one of us to fix it in our own lives.
Who is your hero?
Congresswoman Jackie Speier. Jackie was shot six times and left for dead while serving as a congressional aide in 1978. She lay, bleeding, on a jungle tarmac for 23 hours before help arrived. Her prognosis was bad, and she was told she would most definitely lose at least two limbs. But, somehow, Jackie survived, arms and legs intact. She credits her deep faith, but everyone who knows her will tell you she’s a fighter like no other. As a congresswoman, she holds frequent public meetings for her constituents, and instills in her staff (myself included) the idea that “legislating is listening.” If elected, I will de my best to be that kind of leader.
What are your hobbies?
I like working around my small ranch. Having been raised in a city, I love Ohio’s wide open spaces. I enjoy mowing the grass on my tractor, chasing the dog and my grandkids, and growing lots of fresh vegetables. I also play basketball and have a pretty darn good jumpshot for an old guy.
Writing is my lifelong love. I’ve made my living as a writer – both in television and politics. My storytelling ability has taken me all over the world, and allowed me to meet some incredible people – from the Dalai Lama to Harvey Milk to Whoopi Goldberg. I’m indeed fortunate to get paid for doing what would otherwise be my hobby.
What is the most recent book you read?
Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind – by Yuval Noah Harari
Do you have any kids/pets/talking houseplants?
I have two daughters: Melissa, 34, a Nurse Practitioner in Missouri; and Maryann, 13, an 8th grader at Grizzell Middle School. We also have a dog and nine chickens (assuming the raccoons didn’t get one since writing this).
How can our readers get involved in your campaign?
Any and every way they wish! We will have postcards to write and doors to knock. We will also have a number of public events featuring progressive leaders, filmmakers, and other interesting people that will be open to the public, free of charge, throughout the campaign.
What question do you wish we’d asked, and what is your answer?
What informed your political ideology?
I’m glad you asked that. Great question! I joined my first union when I was 14, when I got a job selling peanuts at a ballpark. They had my back on more occasions than I can count, and were the conduit that got me involved in campaigns and causes in and around my community. They, and the nuns at St Roberts , taught me the importance of working in the service of others. That drives everything I doing in politics.
Post created from answers submitted by candidate to our Meet the Candidate survey.
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