To the Editor:
I was “called out” by one of your letter writers (Latta should…, Jan. 13). It has become fashionable for people to make politics personal, including attacks on officeholders and others, which is one of the reasons I have not been Wood County Republican Party chairman for five years. It is also why it is difficult to recruit good candidates to run for office.
Your letter writer wondered how I could continue to support Congressman Bob Latta. I don’t feel like I owe an explanation, but it struck me that it might be worth a response given that letters and comments on politics only seem to be critical of people.
I have supported Latta, and continue to, because we have been friends since we were boys.
Later in life, as local party chairman I was looking for a candidate to run for county commissioner. I convinced him to leave a successful banking career and run for office. Later, when we had a state representative leave office, I was able to convince him to move to that position.
When Congressman Paul Gilmor died, I and others convinced Bob to face what would be a terrible primary onslaught.
On each occasion Latta said yes. On each occasion, he did a terrific job and only talked about himself and his own record.
Latta is generous and considerate. We attend the same church. We support the same charities. We devote a lot of time to make Bowling Green and Wood County better. We do that under the constant scrutiny of people like your letter writer. Some people in your pages are critical of Latta’s availability, but I see him all the time — at church, or in Ben’s or at downtown restaurants, or riding his bike.
Bob is a wonderful father, and with Marcia has raised two outstanding daughters. In Washington, his office is open before dawn, and the last to turn out the lights. That’s because he sleeps on the floor. He works all the time.
Politicians of both parties hold views different than mine, but most are good people, full of good ideas, trying to improve our community.
When I was party chairman tasked to recruit candidates, the main piece of advice they got from me was “talk about yourself.” Latta’s ads are upbeat, about him and his record. Your letter writer might learn from this.
Michael J. Marsh