Johnson challenger visits Valley

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Former state representative Jennifer Garrison filed petitions on Monday to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson for his seat as the 6th Congressional District representative.

And on Tuesday, she kicked off her campaign at an event at the Hampton Inn in Canfield.

Garrison, a Democrat, will run against Johnson, a two-term Republican who beat the late Charlie Wilson, the incumbent at the time, and beat Wilson again to be re-elected in November.

The 6th district covers some or all of Columbiana, Mahoning, Athens, Belmont, Carroll, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Muskingum, Noble, Scioto, Tuscarawas and Washington counties. The Democrat feels she can win in a mostly Republican district.

“It’s time to solve problems, and for the hard working folks of Ohio’s Sixth Congressional District to have a fighter for our middle class families,” Garrison said in a statement. “Both political parties have not focused enough on jobs, job security, and the kitchen table issues that our neighbors and families face every day. Whether it’s been improving education funding for rural Ohio, keeping utility rates low for consumers and manufacturers, or demanding transparency from the legislature, I have a track record of getting results and look forward to this campaign.”

Mahoning County Commissioner Anthony Traficanti will serve as Garrison’s honorary campaign chairman, Garrison said.

Garrison previously served as a state representative from 2004 to 2010. She represented all of Noble, Monroe and Guernsey counties and parts of Washington and Muskingum. Garrison went on to found the Southeastern Ohio Landowners’ Association, which helps landowners negotiate oil and gas mineral leases.

“I am convinced that Jennifer’s passion for the region and her proven record of getting results will make her a great representative in Congress,” Traficanti said in a statement.

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