Reynoldsburg City Councilman Chris Long hopes to be elected to Congress next November to represent the in the 3rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Long, a Republican, met the original Dec. 7 deadline to file his nominating petitions with the Franklin County Board of Elections, but the Ohio General Assembly’s agreement to hold only one 2012 primary election in March — instead of the two that had been scheduled because of a redistricting fight between Democrats and Republicans — means candidates for president and U.S. House seats must refile by Dec. 30.
Long, 53, has lived in Reynoldsburg for most of his life with his wife, Sandy, raising sons James, Mike, Christopher, Matt and Patrick and daughter Shannon.
He is a 1976 graduate of Reynoldsburg High School, after which he served in the United States Air Force until 1981 and enrolled in general studies courses through an Air Force base extension program at the University of Chicago.
Long is currently serving his first term on city council; he was elected in 2009.
He has served on the Reynoldsburg Board of Zoning and Building Appeals as vice chairman and is currently president of the Reynoldsburg Republican Club.
Long has also served on the board of directors for the Reynoldsburg Community Association and Reynoldsburg Festivals Inc.
He said if elected to Congress, he will resign from city council.
Aside from his city council seat, Long is currently unemployed. If elected to Congress, he said his annual paycheck would be about $174,000.
Long said he is running for the seat for several reasons and, if elected, is confident he can make a difference.
“As with many Americans, I’m troubled with the direction that our country is taking, specifically financially. It’s in an endless cycle now with the out-of-control entitlement programs,” he said. “The federal government is either printing more money or raising the debt ceiling in order to be able to pay that, and they’re collecting more taxes, which is exacerbating the situation with our economy.”
Long said he wants to see a push for federal funding at the local level for displaced workers and underemployed individuals for retraining.
In addition, he believes the country’s borders should be closed because of the mass illegal immigration that has occurred over the past several years.
“If I’m sitting in a boat with a hole in it, the first thing I do is plug up the hole, then move forward with what we’re going to do with the 13 million individuals that are here in the United States illegally — maybe some kind of structured program where we can get these people legal,” he said.
Long said he knows he can make a difference if elected because he has a reputation as a “hands-on” individual.
“I believe we waste an awful lot of time in today’s society tiptoeing around issues because we’re afraid of offending somebody with the truth,” Long said. “We need somebody in Washington who is capable of saying no É I think the local, state and federal government, if they want to do anything to help the private sector as far as economic development, business development, they just need to get the hell out of the way.”
Overall, Long said his interest in serving people first began at age 17 when he was sworn in to serve in the Air Force. Now he sees more opportunity to serve if elected to Congress.
“I was more than willing to step up É but I see this opportunity as just being able to expand the service to the community that we’ve been able to do here in Reynoldsburg,” he said.