Economic issues, topped by inflation, were what incumbent U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, said propelled him to reelection for representing Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District.
There were 249,070 votes cast with Latta receiving 165,748, or 66.55% against Craig Swartz, his Democratic Party opponent, who received 83,322 votes.
The Wood County Board of Elections had the race with Latta 14,362, or 61.70%, and Swartz 8,914, or 38.30%.
“I think it’s the same thing that happened nationally. What you are looking at is people being very concerned about inflation,” Latta said. “When you go to the grocery store, as Marcia did a couple weeks ago, to bake something for our church and you see eggs at $4.19, people just said it’s just out of control.”
He attributes the current inflation on too much government spending.
“I think it’s important that Congress listens to the American people,” Latta said. “I’m getting calls from farmers now saying that they don’t have enough fuel. They can’t get diesel fuel and they are out in their fields. This is a crisis.”
He said that he also heard constituents talking about crime, especially opioid abuse, like fentanyl that is killing people from drug overdoses.
“We’re blessed to live in an area that has good prosecutors and good law enforcement,” Latta said. “The prosecutors are out there prosecutors prosecuting individuals and we need to let law enforcement know that they are going to be appreciated for their work.”
He said that there weren’t any big surprises for him during this election, because of the way he does his constituent work.
“I’m very fortunate and blessed that I can be out in the district all the time,” Latta said. “I read every letter that goes out to our constituents. I sign every letter. I know a lot of people aren’t going to believe it, but (his district manager) lives less than a mile from me. He compiles them and drops them off to me every night to sign.”
He said that listening to constituents, through the district work, whether that be IRS issues, government agencies not responding, or high fuel prices, is what keeps him in touch and made for another successful campaign.
“As a representative in Congress, you’re doing two things, you’re representing your constituents in Washington, but you’re representing them here at home with case work. It’s not just me. I’ve been blessed through the years with great staff who are willing to put those hours in to research and keep working for people. And when we can’t get it solved, I want to make sure that we put in 110% to get it as close as we possibly can, for that person,” Latta said.