Preview of 14th District contest

After Congressman David Joyce, a Republican, and Michael Wager, a Democrat, secured their party’s nomination Tuesday in the 14th Congressional District race, neither wasted much time looking ahead toward the election in November.

Both men said in statements issued after their wins that they ”look forward” to debating their different political philosophies to voters.

They also took some jabs at each other.

”Now is the time for the party to unite, because the general election will provide a clear contrast,” Joyce said in the statement. ”I want to spend less of hardworking taxpayer’s money. I want to help job creators. I want to put Americans in control of their own future, and I want to balance our budget. The other side wants to spend more. They want to punish job creators. They want more government takeovers and bailouts. And they never want to try and balance the budget.”

Joyce didn’t mention Wager by name, but he was surely aiming his remarks at the Democrat, a lawyer who formerly served as chairman of the Cleveland Port Authority.

”America can’t control our future if we don’t own our future. Every day we keep spending and spending – and that means we keep borrowing and borrowing – with much of it from China. That means we’re no longer in control of our country’s own economic future. That has to change,” said Joyce.

Wager, on the other hand, did call out Joyce, a freshman congressman who worked before as prosecuting attorney in Geauga County.

”Congressman Joyce irresponsibly voted to give the wealthiest Americans a tax break and pay for it by raising taxes on middle class Americans and gutting Medicare,” said Wager. ”He also failed to support a fair increase in the minimum wage and needed extension of benefits to unemployed Ohioans that continue to seek jobs in a tight job market.”

Joyce won the Republican nomination by defeating state Rep. Matt Lynch. Wager did not have competition.

There is a third candidate in the race, David Macko of Solon, who is running as a Libertarian candidate. Macko, a Libertarian since the 1980s who has run for the seat before, will not be a factor.

Adding to the intrigue is money. Both Joyce and Wager can raise a lot of it, but Joyce’s campaign war chest at about $1.2 million is more than double that of Wager.

The district includes parts of seven northeast Ohio counties, including the northern most portion of Trumbull County.