Monday, September 28, 2020

Anthony Gonzalez in the 16th Congressional District


Posted Sep 25, 2020

In a July 2019 file photo, U.S. Reps. Anthony Gonzalez, a Rocky River Republican, left, and Colin Allred, a Texas Democrat, discuss Allred's then-upcoming trip to Gonzalez' Ohio congressional district.

By Editorial Board, and The Plain Dealer

U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, the freshman Rocky River Republican representing Ohio’s 16th Congressional District, has been in Congress fewer than two years but is already making his mark as someone eager to reach across the aisle to achieve compromise.

Gonzalez, 36, a former star football player at Cleveland’s St. Ignatius High School who played in the NFL for five years before knee injuries cut short his football career, is looking for bipartisan solutions not just on small matters, like allowing battlefield crosses in U.S. military cemeteries. A member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, Gonzalez is also seeking potentially breakthrough solutions to consequential disputes, such as the gridlocked coronavirus stimulus aid package.

And he told our editorial board during the endorsement interview this week that he’s also working on legislation to improve on health care delivery and costs, including drug costs -- to go beyond, not to discard, the Affordable Care Act.

Gonzalez is, in fact, one of those rare Republicans who says he opposes abrogation of the ACA -- as is being sought single-mindedly by the Trump administration in a case the Supreme Court has agreed to hear. Rather, he said, his legislation will propose a series of innovative ways to address issues such as health care cost transparency and prescription drug costs that the ACA failed to solve.

Gonzalez is being challenged for reelection by Westlake Democrat Aaron Paul Godfrey, 34, a physicist who has worked in the aerospace and defense industries, who has a compelling life story of his own. He grew up in a lower-income family in Lorain County, where his father could not afford the regular insulin treatments needed for his diabetes until he reached an age that qualified him for Medicare. By then, according to Godfrey, it was too late to restore his father’s health fully, and his father died of complications relating to the disease, a decline that also meant Godfrey had to leave his Ph.D. program at the University of Toledo to help care for his father and provide for the family.

Godfrey is earnest and well-versed on technical issues in energy policy, where despite his strong support for the Icebreaker wind energy project on Lake Erie, he also sees a role for nuclear power to keep the lights on for now. However, he needs more political seasoning and to moderate partisanship that causes him to stake out narrow and unachievable positions.

Anthony Gonzalez is a refreshing example in a U.S. House that seems to have become untethered from the people. He’s a congressional representative who wants to be a doer, not a speech-maker or grandstander, and who is working in a focused manner to achieve solutions that work for more Americans.

He deserves reelection in the kangaroo-shaped 16th Congressional District, which picks up parts of Cuyahoga, Medina, Summit, Portage and Stark counties and all of Wayne County.

In the Nov. 3 election, voters in the 16th Congressional District in Ohio should return Anthony Gonzalez to Congress for a second term. Early voting starts Oct. 6.

The two candidates for Ohio’s 16th Congressional District -- incumbent U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, a Rocky River Republican, and physicist Aaron Paul Godfrey, a Westlake Democrat -- were interviewed by the editorial board of The Plain Dealer and on Sept. 23, 2020, as part of the editorial board’s endorsement process. Listen to audio of this interview below.

About our editorials: Editorials express the view of the editorial board of and The Plain Dealer -- the senior leadership and editorial-writing staff. As is traditional, editorials are unsigned and intended to be seen as the voice of the news organization.

Popular Posts