U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs won re-election in the remapped 7th House District, easily defeating political newcomer Joyce Healy-Abrams, a Democrat.
Gibbs, a Republican from Lakeville, now represents Ohio’s 18th District, which was one of two Ohio districts eliminated when the congressional districts were redrawn following the 2000 census.
Gibbs attributed his success to getting out in the district and meeting with voters.
“One of the best parts about this job, I got to get out and meet people and see what’s going on,” he said in an interview Tuesday night, “I’m proud to represent this area.”
The new 7th District isn’t as large as the 18th, which included 17 counties. In addition to the western half of Medina County, the 7th District includes portions of Lorain, Huron, Richland, Stark and Tuscarawas, and all of Ashland, Coshocton, Holmes and Knox counties.
Gibbs ran on his conservative record and promised to keep taxes low for both middle- and high-income earners. The cuts could be paid for by closing loopholes in the tax code. He said he favors fewer regulations for companies that want to invest in new projects.
He also said he continues to work toward reducing government spending and debt.
“These massive deficits we have are acting like wet blankets,” Gibbs said.
Gibbs, who supported Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget has stressed that the plan would give those younger than 55 the option to buy private insurance with a voucher or stay on the current system.
In her campaign, Healy-Abrams painted Gibbs as a partisan contributing to the divisive politics in Washington, D.C.
In a statement Tuesday night, Healy-Abrams said she’s worried that atmosphere will continue with Republicans in charge of the House.
“I ran for Congress because Washington is broken,” she said. “Partisan politics has created political gridlock. Many members are more concerned about political one-upmanship than they are about solving our nation’s problems.”
Healy-Abrams also thanked Gibbs for a fair campaign.
“We disagreed on many issues,” she said. “But it did not evolve into personal attacks and that is the way a campaign should be.”
Gibbs said he thinks the race was mostly fair, though he thought his race was more positive and reached more voters.
“I think we had a better voter contact program than she did,” he said. “My message was on how we move things forward.”
Contact Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.