Dark horse holds to one-issue platform

John Luchansky is running for Congress for one reason and only one reason: to bring attention to the June 1996 police officer-involved shooting of a McDonald man in the Village of Poland.

That is his platform. He refuses to discuss other issues impacting the U.S. or the 13th Congressional District.

When asked if he was running on anything else, he responded, ”Isn’t that enough?”

But I pressed Luchansky. He eventually said he’s against same-sex marriage and abortion because he’s Catholic, and you ”have to support the teachings of the church.”

But he preferred to talk about the incident in 1996, saying it’s a ”matter for Congress because it is so bad.”

An investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Ohio State Highway Patrol into the matter determined there wasn’t wrongdoing involved in the shooting death of 29-year-old Doug Jones Jr., but Luchansky wasn’t convinced.

He said he approached the Jones’ family after the shooting because of his wariness and a previous experience he had with the same officer, but hasn’t had contact with them for about a decade.

They weren’t aware he was using the incident as the only issue for his congressional run. The family did not want to comment. Neither did village police Chief Russell Beatty.

Luchansky said he would send me the information and letters he’s compiled in his effort to publicize the shooting. He did, but when the envelope arrived, there was something off about it. There was tape around the edges and tape was used to secure the flap.

That’s because he took an old envelope, sliced it apart to turn it inside-out to reuse.

Luchansky, 60, is taking on in the May 6 primary election U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, a powerful Democrat from Howland running for a seventh term with plenty of cash in his campaign account.

Ryan should give little thought to Luchansky’s campaign – he’s running it mostly over the phone, through the mail and by email.

Luchansky doesn’t have a car or a job. He said he’s between jobs, but he hasn’t held a job since 1998, when he worked a seasonal position at HoneyBaked Ham during Christmastime.

He’s run before and got stomped.

In 2004, Luchansky received 0.06 percent of the vote as a write-in in the 6th U.S. Congressional District against former U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland. In 2008, he finished last in a three-person race, also in the 6th District, getting 11.3 percent of the vote.