Updated Thu, Dec 8, 2011 9:08 am
Athens City Law Director Pat Lang says he knows there will be challenges ahead in the race to represent Ohio's new 15th District in Congress.
The democrat announced yesterday that he had filed petitions to run in the newly drawn district.
With the recent redistricting, the 15th now includes suburbs of Dayton, suburbs of Columbus, downtown Columbus, Athens, Nelsonville and portions of Southwest Ohio.
"It's a very diverse area. It's 13 counties. But, ya know, I'll tell ya, I've talked to people across all of them, at this point, just here in the last few weeks and, ya know, people are hurting everywhere. I mean, it may be a different sort of, Appalachia is clearly not downtown Columbus, but people are hurting everywhere in this economy and they're looking for someone in Washington to step up and take that issue seriously and to focus like a laser on that issue of jobs," says Lang.
Republican Steve Stivers represents the current 15th district.
Lang admits that Stivers has a strong financial backing that would be tough to compete with. But, Lang says he believes if he talks about the issues people really care about, voters will be with him on election day.
"Families today are really suffering, people are hurting. They're out of work. The middle class is shrinking. The American dream seems like it's getting harder and harder to attain and that's what makes it so frustrating to look at Washington, to look at Congress and see them doing absolutely nothing to create jobs, absolutely nothing to invest in the middle class or to invest in small business," says Lang.
He says there are plenty of good ideas out there about how to create jobs. But, Lang says partisan politics are making it where people won't work together to find a solution.
"It's a lack of will. It's a lack of willingness of seemingly anybody in Washington to work together," says Lang. "So, I think in order to break that, in order to change Washington, we're really gonna have to change the people we're sending to Washington. So, that's why I'm running."
The 34-year old Lang grew up in Albany and became the first undergraduate Ohio University student elected to the Athens City Council.
Lang appeared on WOUB Television's Newswatch last night.