Zimmann campaign continues

Democratic congressional candidate Angela Zimmann returned to the classroom Tuesday morning, answering questions from University students in a campaign event just weeks before facing off against incumbent Bob Latta.

Zimmann, on leave as a University GSW professor to campaign full time, handed out fliers, offered internships and informed students on the race for U.S. House of Representatives 5th District.

“I’m not a career politician,” she said, citing her background as an educator, mother and Lutheran minister.

Asked about her first priorities if elected, Zimmann turned to election finance, which she argued played too important of a role in American politics.

“Having candidates raise money and focus on that” was a problem, she said.

Though she did not reference her opponent by name in the classroom, Zimmann stressed the importance of meeting with constituents and engaging with the public.

Last month, she challenged Rep. Latta to a series of debates at various universities in the 5th District. More than 25 days later, however, her campaign said the Republican congressman has not accepted or even responded to the invitation.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said campaign manager Dan Lipner.

Zimmann also talked about women’s issues, which she said was one of her top legislative priorities.

“When I talk about women’s issues, I think for me the paycheck fairness is a big one,” she said. “I’m also pro-choice, and I say that hesitantly because I’m a pastor and I’m a mom, and I’m a foster mom and I love kids … and yet I don’t feel like I can make that decision for you.”

Another student asked her how faith as a minister would impact her policy decisions.

While the separation between church and state was vital for government, she argued, she would not legislate religiously.

“Faith influences us. That’s fundamentally a part of who we are,” Zimmann said. “Am I going to voice my views on someone else? I hope not.”

The Democratic nominee met with Libertarian candidate Eric Eberly at an Owens Community College debate last month. Though she said she disagrees with his policies, Zimmann told students she appreciated being able to debate issues in the public square and that all candidates should be taken seriously regardless of campaign fundraising.

“He has a right to be heard as much as I do,” she said of Eberly.

The Latta campaign could not be reached for comment.