The Tribune Chronicle Editorial Board endorses Republican David P. Joyce for U.S. representative in the 14th House District.
Democrat Dale Virgil Blanchard is Joyce's chief opponent. Libertarian David Macko and Green Party candidate Elaine R. Mastromatteo are also running.
The district includes all of Ashtabula, Geauga and Lake counties and parts of Trumbull, Cuyahoga, Portage and Summit counties. After redistricting, the 14th includes more of Trumbull, encompassing communities in the top two tiers of townships.
The winner replaces former U.S. Rep. Steven LaTourette, a popular centrist Republican who decided suddenly on Aug. 1 that he would drop out of the race because of his frustration with partisan gridlock in Washington. Chief among his complaints was how both parties failed to support the Simpson-Bowles plan to reduce the federal deficit. LaTourette served 18 years in the House.
Joyce, 55, a respected, six-term Geauga County prosecutor, agrees with LaTourette's support for Simpson-Bowles and would not sign the Grover Norquist pledge to oppose all tax increases.
Blanchard, 55, an accountant from Solon making his ninth run for Congress, agrees with LaTourette's support for the oil and gas industry's move to use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to tap into the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio.
Joyce also wants to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, review spending programs to eliminate those without a track record of success, and cut some federal regulations to boost business expansion.
Blanchard wants tax cuts for businesses that attain a certain level of employment growth.
Joyce opposes the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, except for its pre-existing condition provision and the ability for children to remain on parents' health plans through age 26. Blanchard supports Obamacare outright.
Joyce wants to gradually increase the Social Security retirement age to 70 whereas Blanchard wants to increase Social Security and Medicare taxes.
Macko, 70, a retired insurance adjuster from Solon, opposes most taxes, spending and federal regulation. Mastromatteo, 52, an antiques and collectibles dealer in Trumbull County, wants the federal government to play a larger role in helping the economy.
Joyce seems the best choice, especially for the 14th District residents and businesses in northern Trumbull County.