U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, the Republican incumbent, and Democratic challenger Janet Garrett participated in an in-school Sandusky Register debate Tuesday sponsored by BGSU Firelands. Some members of the public and more than 400 students from Monroeville, Western Reserve, Buckeye Central and Fremont St. Joe high schools attended the event at the Monroeville Athletic Complex.
Garrett, a survivor of domestic abuse, said the way a person talks about women reveals their attitude toward abuse.
“My opponent shows he doesn’t take these things seriously,” she added, which she believes is one of the reasons there needs to be a change in leadership in the U.S. Congress.
Jordan said he’s never talked disrespectfully about women — in or out of a locker room.
“I don’t think that’s appropriate,” added the former Ohio State University assistant wrestling coach.
Jordan is accused of knowing that team physician Dr. Richard Strauss sexually abused athletes while he was a coach from 1986 to 1994. At the debate Tuesday, Jordan said alleging that he doesn’t support his players “is ridiculous,” as is the notion that he is supposed to remember what happened about 30 years ago involving a doctor who died 14 years ago.
“It’s ridiculous and everyone sees through it,” he said.
Register managing editor Matt Westerhold alternated taking questions from his staff members and students in the audience.
One of the early questions revolved around refugees coming to the United States. Garrett said people need to remember the definition of the word — a person who is seeking refuge — and since the nation is “a beacon to people around the world,” it makes sense for refugees to come to America.
“That’s why they’re coming here,” Garrett said.
Jordan said nations have the right to control their borders. He supports the U.S. building a “border security wall,” saying it’s important to “find out why they are coming before they come in.”
The candidates answered questions on a host of other topics — health care, addressing someone’s character during an election campaign, the Second Amendment, human trafficking and the importance of their political party having a majority control.
When asked why she supported or didn’t support President Donald Trump, Garrett said she “would be right there beside him” if he took action that helps the district and would oppose him otherwise. Jordan said the accomplishments of Trump’s administration in a year-and-a-half “are a good term” and “it’s a good presidency.” Garrett responded by saying that attributing an improvement in the economy to Trump “is ridiculous” since the president inherited the situation when he took office.