Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said the purpose of Monday's event was to honor one outgoing congressman while welcoming in a new, but through the speeches given, including one speaker close to the former Massachusetts governor, the theme was a call to elect Mitt Romney president.
More than 200 people attended a Salute to Congressman Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, and Congressman Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, Monday evening at Camden Falls, which included an address from Matt Romney, second oldest son of presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Matt Romney was the first speaker, whose talk focused as much on family as it didn't his father's run for office.
PHOTO BY PAT GAIETTO
Matt Romney (right) chats with Roy Zinn Monday evening at Camden Falls. Romney was in town campaigning for his father, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Before addressing the crowd, Matt Romney recalled his family's concerns about Mitt Romney entering the race for the White House after losing in the 2008 primary.
"For a while some of my brothers and I didn't want him to run again, but when we saw how the economy was doing under President (Barack) Obama that we really felt like all of us got behind him and wanted him to run. So it's really about turning around our economy, turning around our country," he said.
Later, Matt Romney spoke about Mitt Romney's values, beginning with gratitude and love of the United States as instilled in him by his father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, and Mitt's sense of service, which he passed to his children.
"Those are the reasons why he's running," Matt Romney said. "It's so funny when I hear those in the media and others say, 'Oh, he'll do anything to get elected, he wants to be president so bad.' If that was the case, I wouldn't be here tonight. My brothers wouldn't be out there campaigning. My mother wouldn't be out there campaigning. ... He's doing this because the country needs it, we need him right now."
In speaking of his father's opposition, Matt Romney talked about the state of the country and the economy, including 44 months of 8 percent or higher unemployment with 23 million people unemployed or underemployed and a $16 trillion deficit. He said Obama's plan is to grow government, grow the stimulus and continue federal spending.
Matt Romney said the country needs a "tough decision" maker, and said his father's choice of Paul Ryan, representative for the 1st Wisconsin Congressional District, showed that.
"I think it sent a very strong signal, and if it doesn't, it should, that they're both very serious about fixing the problems we have, about being grown-ups, about recognizing the problems we have, and being able to say 'No,'" Matt Romney said.
He added that his father intends to look at every federal program to do away with unnecessary spending and to build the economy with more economic freedom by cutting taxes, regulations and federal spending.
The evening ended with speeches by the two congressmen. Latta, of the 5th Ohio Congressional District, is the current representative for Seneca and Sandusky counties, but after redistricting, the counties are to be part of the 4th Ohio Congressional District, currently represented by Jordan. Both are running for re-election Nov. 6.
Other speakers thanked Latta for his service to the district and offered regrets that he would be leaving, to which he said he would miss the friends he has made in Seneca and Sandusky counties.
Latta's statements centered on a pledge to represent his constituents and help make America a land where people work hard for what they earn, not what they are entitled to.
"We are Americans. We don't have somebody out there saying 'You can't do this.' We say, 'I'll show you I can do it, just don't get in my way,'" he said. "This is such a great country, it gives us the opportunity to succeed. ... People come here for that reason, they want to work hard, they want to roll up their sleeves, and pass that down to their children."
Jordan, who was introduced by Montz as the area's next congressman, also spoke about the greatness of the U.S., but said the current administration is putting the country in a bad financial situation.
"This administration spends too much money and is afraid to put in place, or just doesn't get it, the kind of policies conducive to economic growth," Jordan said. "The greatest nation in history is going to face a debt crisis if we don't elect Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan."
Also speaking were Montz, who served as master of ceremonies, Sandusky County Republican Party Chairman Justin Smith and State Rep. Rex Damschroder, R-Fremont.
Damschroder spoke in opposition to Ohio Issue 2, which would replace elected officials with a state-funded commission of appointed officials to select district maps every 10 years. He is running for the 88th Ohio House District.