Investment banker, Senate hopeful campaigns in Tiffin
An investment banker from Cleveland who hopes to be elected to the U.S. Senate campaigned in Tiffin Wednesday morning.
Mike Gibbons, 64, visited with Seneca County Republicans during their monthly luncheon at Fort Ball Pizza Palace, 91 N. Washington St., before sitting down with Advertiser-Tribune staff to discuss his campaign.
Gibbons, senior managing director of Brown Gibbons Lang and Co., faces off with Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel in the Republican primary May 8. The winner of the primary is to face Sen. Sherrod Brown Nov. 6, 2018. Brown defeated Mandel in 2012 and has held the seat since January 2007.
Gibbons said he is running because he is tired of watching politicians say one thing and do another.
“I don’t think we should be electing career politicians,” he said. “I’m running because I want a future for my kids and my grandkids.”
Gibbons was a finalist to be deputy secretary of the Commerce Department in President Donald Trump’s administration and has been active in the Republican Party, acting as co-chairman of Trump’s fundraising operation in Ohio, but he said he isn’t a typical GOP candidate.
“Trump’s not my style … but his agenda is important for the country,” he said. “I’m not your traditional establishment candidate. I haven’t been to a lot of Lincoln Day dinners, but I’ve created jobs. Unlike these career politicians, I’ve signed the front of the paycheck.”
Gibbons said his background learning about and teaching economics and experience owning and investing in businesses will make him a good senator.
“My opponents haven’t spent one minute in the private sector. I started a business in Cleveland from nothing,” he said.
Gibbons said the key to many issues is innovation, competition and allowing the free market to run its course.
“I own two health care companies. We have a real problem on our hands with the cost of health care that could bankrupt our nation,” he said. “I want to turn health care on its head. … I want to get the government out of it.”
Gibbons expressed disappointment with lawmakers for not repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.
He said the United States pays twice as much as any other industrial nation on health care, but has the 37th best quality of care.
“There’s something wrong with that. … It’s government,” he said. “They are picking winners and losers. We need to have competition, we need to have transparency and we need to know the cost when we walk into a hospital.”
Gibbons said the solution to many problems, including the opioid epidemic sweeping the nation, is innovation by private industry.
“Innovation is what is going to change health care,” he said. “We’ve got to keep trying things.”
Gibbons also believes high corporate tax rates and high tax rates on small-business owners hurts the economy.
“We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world and half of the people in the country are employed by small businesses,” he said. “We’ve got to grow this country, but we’re $20 trillion in debt and growing at 2 percent. That’s not going to work.”
Gibbons believes more government regulation hurts the economy.
“Government makes things harder for businesses through regulations,” he said, adding that when companies pay more in taxes, they have less to invest in improvements. “We need to make an investment in making the U.S. profitable again for businesses.”
Gibbons hopes to define his campaign with solutions, not soundbites.
“If I hear one more politician say, ‘Jobs, jobs, jobs,’ I think I might throw up,” he said. “The solution to our (economic) growth is to fix our tax laws.”