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Republicans seek Congress nomination to challenge Ryan

WARREN — Seven Republicans are running in Tuesday’s primary for their party’s nomination to the 13th Congressional District seat.

The candidates are Christina M. Hagan of Marlboro Township, Louis G. Lyras of Campbell, Robert J. Santos of Austintown, Duane Hennen of Warren, Robert A. Morckel of Akron, Donald Truex of Rittman and Jason Mormando of Austintown.

The winner will face U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Howland, who is seeking his 10th two-year term to Congress in November. Also, Michael Fricke of Kent filed as a Libertarian.

Mormando has suspended his campaign though he hasn’t formally withdrawn from the ballot.

Of the six remaining candidates, Hagan and Lyras were the only ones to respond to requests for information about their campaigns.

Hagan and Lyras are also the only two candidates in the race to raise at least $100,000 for the primary — Hagan from contributions and Lyras largely from loans he gave his campaign.

Hagan, fund development manager for ICU Mobile, served as a member of the Ohio House from March 2011 to December 2018. Hagan lost the 2018 Republican primary for the 16th Congressional District seat to Anthony Gonzalez.

Lyras is founder and CEO of Corcon Inc., an industrial painting company based in Lowellville. He tried to run in 2018 for this congressional seat as an independent, but failed to qualify for the ballot.

Hagan listed her top priorities, if elected, as reviving Northeast Ohio’s economy, creating a bipartisan infrastructure bill and addressing health care.

Hagan said not enough has been done “to bring back manufacturing jobs to our region or train unemployed workers with new skills. There are easy common sense solutions that we can look at to fixing this problem.”

Hagan said she’d work to make President Donald Trump’s tax cuts permanent, would push a skills retraining program to help put 600,000 Americans back in the workforce annually who would be paid with a 10 percent remittance tax on dollars that are currently being sent overseas, and would propose a bill making it illegal for companies with offshore jobs to receive government contracts.

Hagan said she’d sponsor an infrastructure bill that would bring 35,000 manufacturing jobs to Ohio. One option to raise the money for that bill, she said, would come from reallocating funds the country is currently spending in Afghanistan.

Regarding health care, Hagan said, “One great step in the right direction will be to reform HSAs (health savings accounts) to make them work for the whole family.” She wants to sponsor a bill to allow HSAs to be part of a person’s estate that could be passed to another person without penalty.

Lyras listed his top three priorities as bringing back business to the area, making the area a technology magnet and reaching out to specialty industries to see how they could be helped.

Lyras said: “I would work very hard to bring businesses back to this area like TJX and Lordstown Motors and search for many more industries. From my position, I would augment (local officials’) efforts.”

He said he’d also seek to obtain federal funds and work with universities to make the region a “technology magnet” to “keep our young talent home. We need to build the foundation that will attract businesses.”

Lyras also plans to reach out to specialty industries in an effort to convince them to come to the area.

Lyras said he believes in term limits and, if elected, he’d serve up to eight years.

“I owe no one,” he said. “I want to legislate for the good of the people and not special interest groups. Too much is at stake.”

dskolnick@tribtoday.com