by Stephanie Crosby
Four Republicans are vying for their party’s nomination to try to unseat two-term Third District Congressman John Yarmuth. The Democrat is unopposed in his party’s primary.
Leading the pack in terms of fundraising is Jeff Reetz. He’s contributed $100,000 to his campaign, and raised another $70,000 or so.
The 57-year-old Pizza Hut franchisee campaigned this week before some financial advisors at Hilliard Lyons. When he’s out talking to voters, Reetz says their number-one concerns are jobs and the economy.
“People want to know they’re going to be working,” says Reetz. “People want to know they can provide for their future. People want to know our economy is good and sound and solid and growing. People want to know we’re not going bankrupt as a country.”
Reetz points to his 30-plus years of experience as a businessman, both on the corporate level for Yum Brands, and now as the owner of 30 Pizza Huts as reasons why he’d be good at shaping national policy, job growth and economic stimulation. He says the best thing government can do to help is get out of the way.
“When government gets involved in things, they have a tendency to not perform as well as they could or should,” says Reetz.
On that, the candidates agree.
“What I tell folks is that everything the federal government is doing right now is wrong,” says 51-year-old accountant Brooks Wicker.
He’s at the other end of the fundraising spectrum in the race. He’s raised about $7,000 for his campaign, and is also touting his business experience.
Wicker made stops every morning this week at coffee shops throughout Louisville, and he agrees the top issue in the race is jobs. He thinks creating more wealth through tax cuts is the way to stimulate growth.
“In 26 years of doing what I do, consulting across a broad section of the economy, I’ve never seen a poor person give somebody a job. Never,”
For 39-year old UPS pilot and veteran of the Kentucky Air National Guard Todd Lally, the race is also about jobs and economy. He believes that if he makes it past the May 18th primary, the changing national political tides might sweep him into offce.
“It’s not just against John Yarmuth, it’s against the Obama/Reid/Pelosi agenda,” says Lally. “John Yarmuth is very much a part of that.”
Lally’s campaign has raised $91,000, a little over half of which came from his own pocket.
Larry Hausman is the candidate who says he ‘came up in ‘ the Tea Party, and his pitch for a much smaller government sounds a lot like it.
“The federal government has blown the door open with the commerce clause and the general welfare clause, by being able to spend money on anything they want, to be able to raise taxes and to spend it completely against the wishes of our founding fathers,” says Hausman.
The 45-year-old real estate financial advisor has raised $24,000 for his campaign, and says should he win the party nomination on May 18th, he’s looking forward to running against the incumbent.
“Boy, am I going to take it to him on his voting record,” says Hausman, “and I feel like not just Louisville, but America, is with me.”
The four candidates will square off tonight in a forum sponsored by Louisville’s Tea Party organization. It’s set for 6:30 at the Middletown Government Center on Juneau Dr.