• U.S.

A GUIDE TO THE CONGRESSIONAL RACES: OHIO

32 minute read
TIME

OHIO

Population (1994): 11,102,000 (up 2.4% from 1990); 4.3% of U.S. total

Voting-age population: 8,313,000; 1994 turnout, 41%

Median age: 33.3 years

Median household income: $31,855 ($409 above U.S. median)

Unemployment: 5.0% (0.6% below U.S. average, March 1996)

Last presidential election: Clinton (D): 40% Bush (R): 38% Perot (I): 21%

Congressional delegation: 14 Republicans, seven Democrats

Though a redistricting in 1992, giving Ohio its smallest congressional contingent since 1870, was supposed to result in an even distribution of Republican and Democratic districts, it turned out quite differently. In a state that is a standard of American normalcy, such a disadvantage is especially disconcerting for the Democrats.

STEVE CHABOT (R) District 1 (Hamilton County–western Cincinnati and suburbs)

BORN: Jan. 22, 1953, Cincinnati EDUCATION: College of William and Mary, B.A., 1975; Northern KENTUCKY U, J.D., 1978 FAMILY: Wife, Donna Daly; two children RELIGION: Roman Catholic MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Lawyer POLITICAL CAREER: Cincinnati city council, 1985-90; Hamilton County commissioner, 1990-95; U.S. House, 1994- ADDRESS: 105 West Fourth Street, Suite 1133, Cincinnati 45202. Tel.: 513-651-9644

The district was in Democrat hands for 20 years and Democrats think he’s vulnerable, but Chabot is expected to keep his seat–thanks in part to Cincinnati’s still robust economy.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense YES Abortion YES Guns NR Gays NR Bosnia YES NAFTA NR Welfare YES Medical Leave NR (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “My view is, while we need nutritious lunches in our schools, we need a whole lot less baloney in Washington.”

MARK LONGABAUGH (D) District 1

BORN: Aug. 8, 1958, Cincinnati EDUCATION: Miami U (Ohio), B.A., 1980 FAMILY: Wife, Sharon; two children RELIGION: Presbyterian MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Public-relations executive POLITICAL CAREER: Democratic nominee for Cincinnati City Council, 1995 ADDRESS: 1216 Central Park Way, Suite 200, Cincinnati 45210. Tel.: 513-241-1996

As a former congressional aide and presidential campaign director, Longabaugh has the right credentials. If he weathers criticism for accepting PAC and labor-union contributions, he should give Chabot a run for his money.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense NO Abortion NO Guns YES Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA NO Welfare NO Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “I have absolutely no apologies for taking contributions from working people, whether they’re auto workers or pipe fitters.”

THOMAS CHANDLER (D) District 2 (Southwest and eastern Cincinnati and suburbs)

BORN: April 14, 1954, Mariemont EDUCATION: U of Cincinnati, 1975-77 FAMILY: Single RELIGION: Roman Catholic MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Medical-supply specialist POLITICAL CAREER: Democratic nominee for Clermont County Commission, 1976; Democratic nominee for Clermont County auditor, 1982; sought Democratic nomination for U.S. House, 1992; state Democratic Central Committee, 1992- ADDRESS: 5820 Berte Street, Cincinnati 45228. Tel.: 513-569-2275

Running against a popular incumbent, Chandler has to pick his targets carefully. What, for instance, has Rob Portman done for Adams County, with the highest unemployment rate in the state? Or for the elderly, who Chandler claims will be hurt by Republican budget-cut proposals? Chandler says cutting red tape–not programs–is the way to a healthy budget.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion YES Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA NO Welfare YES Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “I am the hope of the senior citizens. Someone who will truly work for them and represent them.”

ROB PORTMAN (R) District 2

BORN: Dec. 19, 1955, Cincinnati EDUCATION: Dartmouth College, B.A., 1979; U of Michigan, J.D., 1984 FAMILY: Wife, Jane Dudley; three children RELIGION: Methodist MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Lawyer POLITICAL CAREER: U.S. House, 1993- ADDRESS: P.O. Box 2365, Cincinnati 45201. Tel.: 513-561-9994

Though he entered the House in 1993 with the lowest seniority in the minority party, Portman has become a darling of the Republican majority, earning kudos from the National Taxpayers Union (as the best deficit hawk in Ohio), Citizens Against Governmental Waste (for being a “Taxpayer Hero”) and the National Association of Counties (which gave him its first Legislator of the Year award).

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense YES Abortion YES Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA YES Welfare YES Medical Leave NR (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “We believe in helping families, and we believe in growing the economy through economic growth, not in growing big government.”

TONY HALL (D) District 3 (Southwest–Dayton)

BORN: Jan. 16, 1942, Dayton EDUCATION: Denison U, B.A., 1964 FAMILY: Wife, Janet Dick; two children RELIGION: Presbyterian MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Real estate broker POLITICAL CAREER: Ohio House, 1969-73; Ohio Senate, 1973-78; U.S. House, 1978- ADDRESS: 1812 Kettering Tower, Dayton 45423. Tel.: 513-225-2843

After nearly two decades in the House, Hall may be in one of his toughest races ever, facing the same man who scared him two years ago. Hall has distinguished himself in Congress for his crusades against hunger–including a 22-day fast in 1993–lobbying for aid to Somalia and food programs in Dayton and Washington.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion YES Guns YES Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA NO Welfare NO Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “Congress is afflicted with famine. We are hungry for heart–heart for the needy, the powerless and the forgotten.”

DAVID WESTBROCK (R) District 3

BORN: March 27, 1946, Dayton EDUCATION: U of Dayton, B.S., 1968; Ohio State U, M.D., 1972 FAMILY: Wife, Judy; three children RELIGION: Roman Catholic MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Physician POLITICAL CAREER: Republican nominee for U.S. House, 1994 ADDRESS: 23 Jasper Street, Dayton 45409. Tel.: 513-228-3283

A Dayton native, Westbrock has practiced medicine there slightly longer than Tony Hall has been in Congress (19 years). He made a passable run for the seat in 1994 (taking 41% of the votes), and if he is able to convince voters that the Republican revolution is still alive, he may still be able to hurt Hall with the “big spender” label.

THE ISSUES Budget YES Medicare YES Defense NO Abortion YES Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA YES Welfare YES Medical Leave NO (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “We must renew the American spirit, breathe new life into the constitutional guarantees of self-determination, equality, family and community.”

PAUL MCCLAIN (D) District 4 (West Central–Mansfield; Lima; Findlay)

BORN: July 26, 1952, Upper Sandusky, Ohio EDUCATION: North Central Technical College, 1980-82 FAMILY: Wife, Helen RELIGION: Roman Catholic MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Art-store owner POLITICAL CAREER: None ADDRESS: 108 Glenwood Heights, Mansfield, Ohio 44903. Tel.: 419-525-4892

Goaded into the race by friends and a wife who “was tired of hearing me complain,” this political neophyte says he wants an end to business as usual. That business, says McClain, is represented by incumbent Oxley, who he believes has been in office “so long” that he has lost touch with his constituents. It’s art vs. politics.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion NO Guns YES Gays NO Bosnia NO NAFTA NO Welfare NR Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “I favor spending limits [for campaigns] and no gifts allowed. Gifts are for birthdays and Christmas.”

MICHAEL OXLEY (R) District 4

BORN: Feb. 11, 1944, Findlay, Ohio EDUCATION: Miami U (Ohio), B.A., 1966; Ohio State U, J.D., 1969 FAMILY: Wife, Patricia; one child RELIGION: Lutheran MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: FBI agent; lawyer POLITICAL CAREER: Ohio House, 1973-81; U.S. House, 1981- ADDRESS: P.O. Box 1996, Findlay, Ohio 45839. Tel.: 419-423-3210

Oxley entered the House after a narrow special-election victory in 1981, but has had no trouble holding on to his seat since then. He has become an expert in emerging technologies and communications and a strong voice against government involvement in either.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense NO Abortion YES Guns YES Gays YES Bosnia YES NAFTA YES Welfare YES Medical Leave NO (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “America is poised to lead the world in communications technology. This procompetitive, antiregulatory legislation [the Communications Act of 1995] will help us make the most of the greatest economic opportunity in the history of the world.”

PAUL GILLMOR (R) District 5 (Northwest–Bowling Green; Sandusky)

BORN: Feb. 1, 1939, Tiffin, Ohio EDUCATION: Ohio Wesleyan U, B.A., 1961; U of Michigan, J.D., 1964 FAMILY: Wife, Karen; five children RELIGION: Methodist MILITARY: Air Force, 1965-66 OCCUPATION: Lawyer POLITICAL CAREER: Ohio Senate, 1967-88; sought Republican nomination for Governor, 1986; U.S. House, 1988- ADDRESS: P.O. Box 910, Port Clinton, Ohio 43452. Washington Tel.: 202-225-6405

Though the four-term representative has solid conservative credentials–which suits his white, agricultural constituents just fine–he broke ranks in 1993 to vote for the Clinton-backed family medical leave bill. More consistent with his conservatism, Gillmor introduced legislation to bar Congress from issuing federal mandates without financially backing them.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense NO Abortion YES Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA YES Welfare YES Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “Instead of shutting down the government to save money, we could just suspend government while the President talks. We would save millions.”

ANNIE SAUNDERS (D) District 5

BORN: July 13, 1949, Norwalk, Ohio EDUCATION: Firelands College, Bowling Green State U, 1972 FAMILY: Husband, Patrick; three children RELIGION: Roman Catholic MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Dental-office manager; auditor POLITICAL CAREER: Huron County Democratic Executive Committee, 1992; Norwalk City Council, 1996; State Executive Committee, 1996 ADDRESS: 283 Whittlesey Avenue, Norwalk, Ohio 44857. Tel.: 419-668-3189

Saunders wants more education and fewer prisons–which means more government money for the former to save money on the latter. A moderate Democrat on social policy, Saunders believes in retraining programs to help the poor find jobs and supported the higher minimum wage as an incentive to stay off the dole.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion YES Guns YES Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA NO Welfare NO Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “The middle-class working family has been left out of the loop for too long. It is time to help those who have for years helped themselves by working and paying their way, only to find themselves on the short end of it.”

FRANK CREMEANS (R) District 6 (South–Portsmouth; Chillicothe; Athens)

BORN: April 5, 1943, Cheshire, Ohio EDUCATION: Rio Grande U, B.A., 1967; Ohio U, M.A., 1969 FAMILY: Wife, Carol; three children RELIGION: United Methodist MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Concrete-company owner POLITICAL CAREER: Republican nominee for Ohio House, 1992; U.S House, 1994- ADDRESS: P.O. Box 632, Cheshire, Ohio 45631. Tel.: 614-446-8725

Democrats hope that the same Contract with America that helped Cremeans win two years ago–by just two percentage points–will be his undoing this time around: his economically depressed district may not be as excited about fewer government services. But Cremeans, the son of a coal miner and an opponent of abortion and gay rights, says success depends on the individual, and is hoping his mostly working-class constituents still agree.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense YES Abortion YES Guns NO Gays NO Bosnia YES NAFTA YES Welfare YES Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “I work six days a week. My message is, ‘Hey, you can do it with your own hands.'”

TED STRICKLAND (D) District 6

BORN: Aug. 4, 1941, Lucasville, Ohio EDUCATION: Asbury College, B.A., 1963; U of Kentucky, M.A., 1966; Asbury Theological Seminary, M.A., 1967; U of Kentucky, Ph.D., 1980 FAMILY: Wife, Frances RELIGION: Methodist MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Professor POLITICAL CAREER: Democratic nominee for U.S. House, 1976, 1978, 1980; U.S. House, 1992-94 ADDRESS: P.O. Box 1492, Portsmouth, Ohio 45662. Tel.: 614-354-7885

After three unsuccessful runs at the House, Strickland finally won in 1992–only to be unseated by Frank Cremeans in 1994. An unabashed liberal, Strickland advocates more spending on highways, education and programs for preventing drug and alcohol abuse, school dropouts and teenage pregnancy. Because his Sixth District is both working-class and poor, he may benefit by this year’s apparent anti-Republican mood.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortions NR Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA NO Welfare NO Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “I believe that people can do things through government which they cannot do as individuals, and I don’t back away at all.”

RICHARD BLAIN (D) District 7 (West central–Springfield; Lancaster)

BORN: March 1, 1948, Springfield EDUCATION: Springfield North High, 1966 FAMILY: Wife, Gloria; three children RELIGION: Lutheran MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Trucking company laborer POLITICAL CAREER: None ADDRESS: 563 East Cassilly Street, Springfield, Ohio. Tel.: 513-324-1924

Blain has been a truck builder and union member for 30 years (he retired this year), and his political credentials are pure working-class. So are his positions: He opposes free-trade agreements like NAFTA and gatt (the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) because he believes they expose the American laborer to harsher competition from abroad. He also supports family medical leave and regular, predictable increases in the minimum wage.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion NR Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA NO Welfare NO Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “The government should protect the people, equalize the playing field. The gap between rich and middle is too wide.”

DAVID HOBSON (R) District 7

BORN: Oct. 17, 1936, Cincinnati EDUCATION: Ohio Wesleyan U, B.A., 1958; Ohio State U, J.D., 1963 FAMILY: Wife, Carolyn; three children RELIGION: Methodist MILITARY: Air National Guard, 1958-63 OCCUPATION: Entrepreneur POLITICAL CAREER: Ohio Senate, 1982-90; U.S. House, 1990- ADDRESS: 82 West Columbia, Springfield, Ohio 45502. Tel.: 513-322-0045

A no-nonsense Republican, Hobson has used his business experience to negotiate things like NAFTA protections for flat grass and broomcorn–farmed in his district–and lobby against the American Automobile Labeling Act for constituents who work at the local Honda factory.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense NO Abortion YES Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA YES Welfare YES Medical Leave NO (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “The Federal Government has not run up a $4.7 trillion debt because the American people pay too little in taxes. The huge debt and deficits have exploded because the Federal Government is too big, spends too much of your money and tells too many people what to do.”

JOHN BOEHNER (R) District 8 (Southwest–Hamilton; Middletown)

BORN: Nov. 17, 1949, Cincinnati EDUCATION: Xavier U, B.S., 1977 FAMILY: Wife, Debbie; two children RELIGION: Roman Catholic MILITARY: Navy, 1969 OCCUPATION: Plastics and packaging executive POLITICAL CAREER: Ohio House 1985-90; U.S. House, 1990- ADDRESS: 7908 Cincinnati-Dayton Road, West Chester, Ohio 45069. Tel.: 513-779-8435

Three-term incumbent Boehner has been called anti-Congress, but the Republican revolution made him a congressional power broker. He is now preoccupied with defending the status quo–as well as his recent generosity in handing out political-action-committee checks on the floor of the House. As the fourth-ranking Republican in the House, Boehner is not likely to be threatened by Jeffrey Kitchen.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense NO Abortion YES Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA YES Welfare YES Medical Leave NO (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “We should balance the budget by downsizing government, not by raising taxes.”

JEFFREY KITCHEN (D) District 8

BORN: July 28, 1960, Ashland, Ky. EDUCATION: Miami U (Ohio), B.A., 1983; Southern Illinois U, B.S., 1986; U of Alabama, Birmingham, M.S., 1990 FAMILY: Wife, Beth Ann; two children RELIGION: Protestant MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Electrical engineer POLITICAL CAREER: None ADDRESS: 222 High Street, Suite 207, Hamilton, Ohio 45011. Tel.: 513-737-0384

An electrical engineer with no political experience, Kitchen is a populist looking for organized solutions to social problems. A higher minimum wage, stronger unions and higher import taxes will boost the economic well-being of the middle class in what he calls the “Trickle-Up Economic Theory” of governance.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion YES Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia YES NAFTA NO Welfare YES Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “We must enforce the social contract on those who have broken it. In order to take our government back, we must become our government.”

MARCY KAPTUR (D) District 9 (Northwest–Toledo)

BORN: June 17, 1946, Toledo EDUCATION: U of Wisconsin, B.A., 1968; U of Michigan, 1974 FAMILY: Single RELIGION: Roman Catholic MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Urban planner POLITICAL CAREER: U.S. House, 1982- ADDRESS: P.O. Box 899, Toledo 43691. Tel.: 419-693-0078

An aggressive legislator and campaigner, Kaptur won her past two elections by impressive margins–74% and 75%. She is known as a defender of the blue-collar worker for her opposition to NAFTA and GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade). In her Rust Belt state–she says 100,000 Ohio jobs have moved to Mexico since NAFTA was enacted–protectionism is not an idle issue.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion YES Guns YES Gays YES Bosnia YES NAFTA NO Welfare NO* Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “I wonder if this Administration or the one that preceded it has figured out how to explain to these Americans how losing their jobs because of NAFTA is good for them and good for our country.”

RANDY WHITMAN (R) District 9

BORN: Aug. 28, 1952, Toledo EDUCATION: U of Toledo, 1970-73; Lourdes College, 1992 FAMILY: Wife, Sharon Ann; three children RELIGION: Roman Catholic and evangelical Christian MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Mortgage banker, lay minister POLITICAL CAREER: Candidate for U.S. House, 1994 ADDRESS: 3550 Secor Rd., Suite 207, Toledo, Ohio 43606. Tel.: 419-535-8484

Deeply religious, Whitman combines strong moral beliefs with conservative politics–he wants more God and less government. He also wants welfare to be a “hand up, instead of a handout,” voluntary prayer in school, a balanced budget and a $500 tax deduction for each child.

THE ISSUES Budget YES Medicare YES Defense YES Abortion YES Guns NO Gays NO Bosnia YES NAFTA YES Welfare YES Medical Leave NO (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “The vast majority of Americans believe in God. We acknowledge him in our Pledge of Allegiance, our currency, our songs and even the motto of the state of Ohio. God is evident in our lives, let’s put him back into our schools.”

MARTIN HOKE (R) District 10 (Cleveland–west side and suburbs)

BORN: May 18, 1952, Lakewood, Ohio EDUCATION: Amherst College, B.A., 1973; Case Western Reserve U, J.D., 1980 FAMILY: Divorced; three children RELIGION: Protestant MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Cellular-phone-company president; lawyer POLITICAL CAREER: U.S. House, 1992- ADDRESS: 15508 Madison Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio 44107. Tel.: 216-331-1996

After a first term in which he became known more for his outlandish comments about women’s anatomy than his legislative acumen, Hoke dodged a bullet in 1994 and hopes to do so again. Though a supporter of the Contract With America, he has gone his own way on bread-and-butter Republican issues like NAFTA, which he opposed, and family medical leave, which he supported.

THE ISSUES Budget YES Medicare YES Defense NO Abortion YES Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia YES NAFTA NO Welfare YES Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “This [race] is going to be a choice between faith in people and faith in government.”

DENNIS KUCINICH (D) District 10

BORN: Oct. 8, 1946, Cleveland EDUCATION: Case Western Reserve U, B.A., M.A, 1973 FAMILY: One child RELIGION: Catholic MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Communications POLITICAL CAREER: Candidate for U.S. House, 1972, 1974; Mayor of Cleveland 1977-79; Ohio Senate, 1994- ADDRESS: Westown Square, 10674 Lorain, Cleveland, 44111. Tel.: 216-251-8683

The “boy wonder,” mayor of Cleveland at 31, is now 50, and the Democrats feel the seasoned Kucinich can be a winner. He wants more money for education, more protection for senior citizens’ health and stronger crime prevention. But true to his maverick reputation, he refused to answer TIME’s issues questionnaire because “YES and NO is too simplistic.” Both he and Martin Hoke are known for shooting from the lip, so the race may depend on who shoots last and least.

THE ISSUES

Budget NR Medicare NR Defense NR Abortion NR Guns NR Gays NR Bosnia NR NAFTA NR Welfare NR Medical Leave NR (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “This country, a land of so much promise for so many, must renew that promise for the youth of our nation.”

LOUIS STOKES (D) District 11 (Cleveland–east side and suburbs)

BORN: Feb. 23, 1925, Cleveland EDUCATION: Case Western Reserve U, 1946-49; Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, J.D., 1953 FAMILY: Wife, Jeannette; four children RELIGION: African Methodist Episcopal Zion MILITARY: Army, 1943-46 OCCUPATION: Lawyer POLITICAL CAREER: U.S. House, 1968- ADDRESS: P.O. Box 99358, Cleveland 44199. Tel.: 216-561-7718

The first African American to sit on the House Intelligence Committee, the 70-year-old Stokes survived a brush with impropriety during the 1992 House bank scandal. But this veteran of the civil-rights movement, whose brother Carl was Cleveland’s first black mayor, is favored to win his 15th trip to Congress.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion NO Guns YES Gays NO Bosnia NO NAFTA NO Welfare NO Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “A congressional leader who opposes affirmative action should realize that jobs do not belong specifically to one race of people. Black Americans born in this country also have a contract with America.”

JAMES SYKORA (R) District 11

BORN: Dec. 4, 1942, Cleveland EDUCATION: Hampton Institute, 1965-68; Cuyahoga Community College, 1968-69 FAMILY: Single RELIGION: Roman Catholic MILITARY: Army, 1961-62 OCCUPATION: Market researcher POLITICAL CAREER: Republican candidate for Cleveland City Council, 1973, 1984, 1985, 1988; 1989; Republican nominee for Ohio House, 1988; Republican nominee for Ohio Senate, 1990 ADDRESS: P.O. Box 603659, Cleveland 44103. Tel.: 216-391-6215.

Sykora gets his appreciation of inner-city problems–build schools not prisons, he says–from a park bench, where he slept during a period of homelessness in 1988, and his political experience from losing more elections than the average politician. At least, says Sykora, voters know who he is.

THE ISSUES

Budget NR Medicare NR Defense NR Abortions YES Guns YES Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA YES Welfare NR Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “What I’m concerned about is the dignity of everyone, from the unborn to the terminally ill. We have to care about everyone.”

JOHN R. KASICH (R) District 12 (Central–eastern Columbus and suburbs)

BORN: May 13, 1952, McKees Rocks, Pa. EDUCATION: Ohio State U, B.S., 1974 FAMILY: Divorced RELIGION: Christian MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Legislative aide POLITICAL CAREER: Ohio Senate, 1979-82; U.S. House, 1982- ADDRESS: 2021 East Dublin-Granville Road, Suite 215, Columbus 43229. Tel.: 614-888-1100

As the new chairman of the Budget Committee, Kasich led the battle to balance the budget, leading to a series of skirmishes with the Clinton Administration that eventually shut down the Federal Government twice and inadvertently turned the tide against the Republicans. Despite the setback, Kasich remains a popular candidate at home.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense YES Abortions YES Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia YES NAFTA YES Welfare YES Medical Leave NO (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “Do my colleagues know what I think Americans are saying? Let me do it. Let me keep my money in my community. Let me have my influence back. Let me have control of my neighborhood.”

CYNTHIA RUCCIA (D) District 12

BORN: Sept. 17, 1952, Rochester, N.Y. EDUCATION: Columbia U, B.A., 1973 FAMILY: Husband, Nick; two children RELIGION: Jewish MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Cosmetics-sales director; musician; educator POLITICAL CAREER: Democratic nominee for U.S. House, 1994 ADDRESS: 2677 E. Main St., Bexley, Ohio 43209. Tel.: 614-236-2682

An undisputed underdog, Ruccia is going after 14-year incumbent Kasich to make a statement about Republican budget cuts. She is against tax hikes to balance the budget and is adamant about protecting funds for education, the arts and student aid. Her solution: members of Congress should cut their own salary in proportion to the amount they trim from government programs.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion NO Guns YES Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA NO Welfare NO Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “It’s time Congress shares the pain…How can Kasich or any other member of Congress expect the American people to tighten their belts if Congress continues to stubbornly refuse to tighten its own.”

KENNETH BLAIR JR. (R) District 13 (Northeast suburbs of Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown)

BORN: March 11, 1938, Bedford, Ohio EDUCATION: Ohio U, 1956-57 FAMILY: Divorced; four children RELIGION: Protestant MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Trucking-company owner POLITICAL CAREER: Newbury School Board, 1971- ADDRESS: P.O. Box 243, Newbury, Ohio 44065. Tel.: 216-564-9500.

Calling himself a “common-sense conservative,” Blair won a four-way race for the nomination and hopes to offer a respectable challenge to Sherrod Brown with his proposals to downsize government. He believes the federal debt can be fixed, for instance, by eliminating the Education, Health and Human Services, and Energy departments and returning their responsibilities to local jurisdictions.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense YES Abortion YES Guns NO Gays NO Bosnia YES NAFTA NO Welfare YES Medical Leave NO (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “We are not the servants of the government; the government is the servant of the people.”

SHERROD BROWN (D) District 13

BORN: Nov. 9, 1952, Mansfield, Ohio EDUCATION: Yale U, B.A., 1974; Ohio State U, M.A., 1979, M.A., 1981 FAMILY: Divorced; two children RELIGION: Lutheran MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Teacher POLITICAL CAREER: Ohio House, 1975-83; Ohio Secretary of State, 1983-91; U.S. House, 1992- ADDRESS: 111 Edgefield Drive, Elyria, Ohio 44035. Tel.: 216-365-5580

First elected to the Ohio House when he was 21, Brown has already been in politics half his life. Though he is running for a third House term this year, Republicans believe that his “liberal” voting record–Brown has received fairly moderate ratings of 75 and 74 from the Americans for Democratic Action and the A.C.L.U.–make him vulnerable.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion NO Guns YES Gays NO Bosnia NO NAFTA NO Welfare NO Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “Every time we pass a trade bill in this body, every time we worship at the altar of free trade…our nation falls deeper and deeper into job-killing trade deficit.”

JOYCE GEORGE (R) District 14 (Northeast–Akron)

BORN: May 14, 1936, Akron EDUCATION: U of Akron, B.A., 1962, J.D., 1966; U of Virginia, M.A., 1986 FAMILY: Divorced; two children RELIGION: Christian MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Attorney, judge POLITICAL CAREER: Candidate for Ohio Supreme Court, 1978, 1986, 1988; Summit County Republican Party Executive Committee, 1994-96 ADDRESS: P.O. Box 5479, Akron 44334. Tel.: 216-666-2226

Running against a former Akron mayor, George is considered an underdog in the race for this industrial-district seat. A moderate Republican, she wants less government, fewer taxes and harsher penalties for juvenile criminals: the bad kids should be going to boot camp, not summer camp.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense YES Abortion NR Guns NO Gays NO Bosnia NO NAFTA YES Welfare YES Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “We need to get government to a common-sense point of view. Government should do for people what people can’t do for themselves.”

TOM SAWYER (D) District 14

BORN: Aug. 15, 1945, Akron EDUCATION: U of Akron, B.A., 1968, M.A., 1970 FAMILY: Wife, Joyce; one child RELIGION: Presbyterian MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Teacher POLITICAL CAREER: Ohio House, 1977-83; mayor of Akron, 1984-86; U.S. House, 1986- ADDRESS: 1540 West Market Street, Suite 201, Akron 44313. Tel.: 330-869-9300

Despite five terms in the House, Sawyer’s narrow victory two years ago has given Republicans renewed hope of winning the 14th. Sawyer voted for NAFTA, risky in this heartland of American industry, but supported the conservative blue-dog Democrats’ proposal to balance the budget in seven years (without tax cuts). Sawyer has also pushed for a census adjustment–he claims an undercount in his district means far fewer federal dollars–and for more money for adult-literacy programs.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion NO Guns YES Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA YES Welfare NO* Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “There is nothing more important than making sure that children are in safe and healthy settings while their parents work.”

CLIFF ARNEBECK (D) District 15 (Central–western Columbus and suburbs)

BORN: Jan. 15, 1945, Washington EDUCATION: Wesleyan U, B.A., 1967; Harvard, J.D., 1970 FAMILY: Wife, Sibley Johnson; two children RELIGION: Episcopalian MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Lawyer POLITICAL CAREER: Sought Republican nomination for U.S House, 1990 ADDRESS: 1860 Cambridge Boulevard, Columbus 43212. Tel.: 614-481-0669

On this second try for the 15th District seat, Arneback emphasizes what he believes is the plague of special-interest influence in Congress. And he wants to initiate town meetings to put regular people back in touch with their legislators. So adamant is Arneback about his grass-roots politics that he refuses to take positions on issues unless he first polls the people (see below).

THE ISSUES

Budget NR Medicare NR Defense NR Abortion NR Guns NR Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA NR Welfare NR Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “Representatives have come to represent not the common values of their communities, but the selfish values of those who fund their campaigns.”

DEBORAH PRYCE (R) District 15

BORN: July 29, 1951, Warren, Ohio EDUCATION: Ohio State, B.A., 1973; Capital U, J.D., 1976 FAMILY: Husband, Randy Walker; one child, one stepchild RELIGION: Presbyterian MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Judge; lawyer POLITICAL CAREER: Franklin County Municipal Court judge, 1985-92; U.S. House, 1992- ADDRESS: 340 East Gay Street, Columbus 43215. Tel.: 614-228-1994

Pryce came to Congress in 1992 with the lowest winning vote margin–44%–of any newcomer that year. She made a name for herself as freshman “class president” and won re-election in 1994 with 71% of the vote. Pryce has impressed Newt Gingrich, who awarded her a seat on the powerful Rules Committee, but she is also known as a blue-dog Republican for her efforts to work with Democrats.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense YES Abortion YES Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia YES NAFTA YES Welfare YES Medical Leave NO (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “For the Democrat, it is the American people who have too much money. For us Republicans, it is the government that has too much.”

THOMAS BURKHART (D) District 16 (Northeast–Canton)

BORN: July 5, 1951; Mansfield, Ohio EDUCATION: Loudonville High School FAMILY: Wife, Janice; three children RELIGION: Wesleyan MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Shipper/receiver; Union representative POLITICAL CAREER: Democratic candidate, Ohio House, 1980; Democratic Candidate, U.S. House, 1990 ADDRESS: 2020 Cottage Street, Ashland, Ohio 44805. Tel.: 614-599-7976

Urged to run by local party officials, Burkhart appeals to the district’s blue-collar constituents with his emphasis on the economy’s impact on family values–what kind of family life can you have when both parents have to work?–and his belief that NAFTA exploits third-world workers while putting Americans out of work.

THE ISSUE

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense NR Abortion NR Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia YES NAFTA NO Welfare NR Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “It’s difficult to run now that I’m married and have kids, but I saw what America was offering my children and I knew I had to get my message out there.”

RALPH REGULA (R) District 16

BORN: Dec. 3, 1924, Beach City, Ohio EDUCATION: Mount Union College, B.A., 1948; William McKinley School of Law, LL.B., 1952 FAMILY: Wife, Mary; three children RELIGION: Episcopalian MILITARY: Navy, 1944-46 OCCUPATION: Lawyer; businessman POLITICAL CAREER: Ohio Board of Education, 1960-64; Ohio House, 1965-66; Ohio Senate, 1967-72; U.S. House, 1972- ADDRESS: 733 42nd Street, N.W., Canton, Ohio 44709. Tel.: 330-492-1559

In 13 races for the House, Regula has never received less than 59% of the vote. His popularity has much to do with his moderation, including support for such “liberal” causes as the National Endowment for the Arts. But he also gets high marks from labor unions for his opposition to NAFTA.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense YES Abortion YES Guns YES Gays YES Bosnia YES NAFTA NO Welfare YES Medical Leave yes (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “We recognize on balance that the arts contribute to the national character, they contribute to the rich cultural heritage of our nation.”

JAMES TRAFICANT JR. (D) District 17 (Northeast–Youngstown, Warren)

BORN: May 8, 1941, Youngstown EDUCATION: U of Pittsburgh, B.S., 1963; Youngstown State U, M.S., 1973, M.S., 1976 FAMILY: Wife, Patricia Choppa; two children RELIGION: Roman Catholic MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Drug-program director POLITICAL CAREER: Mahoning County sheriff, 1981-84; U.S. House, 1984- ADDRESS: 1823 Basil Avenue, Poland, Ohio 44514. Tel.: 330-743-1914

Traficant is known for outrageous oratory–he used his favorite phrase, “Beam me up,” 30 different times in one session of Congress. And it hasn’t mattered to his constituents, who like his strong stand against NAFTA and tax increases and have returned him to Washington six times by a wide margin. He has no G.O.P. challenger.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense NO Abortion YES Guns YES Gays YES Bosnia YES NAFTA NO Welfare YES Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “Wake up, Congress. Our policies are so misdirected, if you threw them at the ground, they would probably miss.”

ROBERT BURCH (D) District 18 (East–Steubenville; Zanesville)

BORN: Sept. 27, 1949, Louisville, Ky. EDUCATION: Kent State U, B.A., 1971; Georgetown U, J.D., 1975 FAMILY: Single RELIGION: Roman Catholic MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Lawyer POLITICAL CAREER: Ohio Senate, 1985-96; Democratic nominee for Governor, 1994 ADDRESS: 123 West High Avenue, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663. Tel.: 330-364-1739

Betting that the Republicans are on the run, Burch wants to link incumbent Bob Ney to Newt Gingrich and contends that the 18th District has been hurt by haphazard G.O.P. cuts in the federal budget that will hurt programs for schools and small businesses. His goal in going to Washington is to re-establish economic security for American workers.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense NR Abortion YES Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA NO Welfare NO Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “We must seek a new world. Not a Newt world, but a new world.”

BOB NEY (R) District 18 BORN: July 5, 1954, Wheeling, W.Va. EDUCATION: Ohio State, B.S., 1976 FAMILY: Wife, Candy; two children RELIGION: Roman Catholic MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Educator POLITICAL CAREER: Ohio House, 1981-83; Ohio Senate, 1985-94; U.S. House, 1994- ADDRESS: 3201 Belmont Street, Room 416, Bellaire, Ohio 43906. Tel.: 614-671-1996

A supporter of the Contract with America, Ney proved to be less conservative than many of his G.O.P. freshman classmates. He supports environmental regulation, for instance, and considers himself “sympathetic to labor,” both positions consistent with his district’s blue-collar, Democratic traditions.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense YES Abortion YES Guns NO Gays NO Bosnia YES NAFTA NO Welfare YES Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “We surely all learned during our campaigns that the American people, whether they are Republican, Democrat or Independent, have the willingness to become involved in the energetic give-and-take of public debate.”

THOMAS COYNE (D) District 19 (Cleveland suburbs–Ashtabula and Lake counties)

BORN: Sept. 13, 1949, Cleveland EDUCATION: Baldwin-Wallace College, 1968-69 FAMILY: Divorced; two children RELIGION: Roman Catholic MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Mayor POLITICAL CAREER: Brook Park city council, 1980-82; mayor of Brook Park, 1982-; sought Democratic nomination for U.S. House, 1992, 1994 ADDRESS: 6161 Engle Road, Brookpark, Ohio 44142. Tel.: 216-781-8747.

After two unsuccessful runs at this seat, Coyne may be ready for a place in Congress. Not only does he benefit from having a now familiar face, but with parts of the 19th District suffering from industry shutdowns, voters may be ready for the Democratic alternative. His economic plans include finding more money for public education and economic incentives to diversify the industrial base.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion YES Guns YES Gays NO Bosnia NO NAFTA YES Welfare NO Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “The message is clear: This is going to be a Democratic year.”

STEVEN LATOURETTE (R) District 19

BORN: July 22, 1954, Cleveland EDUCATION: U of Michigan, B.A., 1976; Cleveland State, J.D., 1979 FAMILY: Wife, Susan; four children RELIGION: Methodist MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Lawyer POLITICAL CAREER: Candidate for Lake County prosecutor, 1984; Lake County prosecutor, 1988-94; U.S. House, 1994- ADDRESS: 7200 Center Street, No. 102, Mentor, Ohio 44060. Tel.: 216-974-9996

Democrats feel that the 19th–a seat they had for 30 years–was stolen in 1994. But LaTourette has shown a willingness to go his own way on issues–he was only one of 10 Republicans who voted against the G.O.P.’s budget proposal last October–and may not be an easy target.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense YES Abortion YES Guns NR Gays NR Bosnia YES NAFTA NR Welfare YES Medical Leave NR (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “There are times when we need affirmation that ours is a nation made up of compassionate, thoughtful people. Sometimes we need to be reminded that Americans do extraordinary deeds for others every day, not because they seek recognition, but because everyday life requires it.”

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com