Political newcomer enters 6th Congressional District race


By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

BELMONT

Shawna Roberts, a political newcomer from the village of Belmont in Belmont County, has declared her candidacy as a Democrat for the 6th Congressional District seat.

Roberts is challenging U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, a Republican from Marietta seeking his fifth two-year term in Congress this year.

“Republicans in Congress have been ignoring our needs here in eastern and southeastern Ohio for too long. We need a voice in Congress that fights for us,” said Roberts, a stay-at-home mother of five children, age 13 to 20.

The 18-county 6th Congressional District includes all of Columbiana County and the southern portion of Mahoning County. The 6th is considered a safe Republican district.

Roberts said Johnson is “very difficult to beat. There is no question in my mind. The likelihood of me winning is small. I’m unlikely to win. He has a lot of advantages, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not going to try.”

Johnson had $1.22 million in his campaign fund as of Sept. 30, the most- recent filing date.

Roberts said she is running because President Donald Trump, a Republican, promised a lot to the 6th District, including better health care and job opportunities, and has not delivered. Johnson is a strong supporter of the president’s.

“I was skeptical [of Trump] because I felt he was conning people – and he’s betrayed this area,” she said. “To defend this district, we need a voice to stand up to the Republicans. I’ve never run for office before. This will be an adventure. It will be kind of fun. We have no idea how to do it, but we’re learning.”

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