The incumbent Republican in the newly redrawn 12th Congressional District hopes to fend off opposition from within his party while two Democrats are squaring off in the March 6 primary election for their party's nomination.

The incumbent Republican in the newly redrawn 12th Congressional District hopes to fend off opposition from within his party while two Democrats are squaring off in the March 6 primary election for their party's nomination.

The 12th District will include all of Licking County under the newly redrawn maps.

The winners will face one another on Nov. 6.

On the Republican side, voters will choose between U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, 49, of Genoa Township, who was first elected to the post in 2000, and William Yarbrough, 42, of New Albany, who has a master's degree from the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University and has spent two decades in private industry business leadership.

Democrats will decide between Doug Litt, 55, of Mansfield, who has spent 38 years in the manufacturing industry on both the labor and management sides, and Jim Reese, 33, of Gahanna, a small-business owner and managing partner at Bogart and Reese LLC, which he described as a firm specializing in "people's law."

All four candidates were asked to state their primary reason for running, the issues they feel are of primary importance to the residents of the 12th Congressional District and how they hope to address them if elected.

Yarbrough, who wrote in his email reply that he is a lifelong Ohioan, has been married for 18 years and is the father of two sons, ages 14 and 11. He has a bachelor's degree from Otterbein College, now Otterbein University. He said he is employed as an "organizational business development consultant."

He said his primary reason for running is that government has gotten too large.

"Economic turmoil is a result of too much government interference in the marketplace, stunting job growth and individual liberty," Yarbrough wrote. "Our debt has become a national security issue; we're borrowing money to sustain our addiction to entitlement spending, corporate welfare, and nation-building around the world. Pat Tiberi, my opponent, talks a good game about debt and deficit, but then votes for Cash for Clunkers, doubling the size of the Department of Education, bank bailouts, farm subsidies, and over $16 trillion in debt. Enough is enough if we are to survive as a free and prosperous nation."

Tiberi is a graduate of Northland High School who majored in journalism at OSU.

"My primary reason for running is to continue my fight to ensure that our next generation has the same opportunities that previous generations have had to realize their own American dream," he wrote. "Raising four young daughters with my wife, Denice, has reinforced my belief that America's best days are yet to come. However, a lot of hard work and difficult decisions need to be made to secure a prosperous future.

"We need to get our economy back on track and Ohioans back to work, prevent the coming tax hike and reform our entire tax code, cut runaway spending, pay down our debt and keep America safe. By working together, our children will inherit a country brimming with opportunity."

Reese said he was raised by a single mother in Detroit. He graduated from Hillsdale College with a B.A. in American studies and then worked his way through Capital University Law School.

His reason for seeking the Democratic nomination: "Economic revival."

"I want to be of service to the people in my district and Ohio," wrote Litt, who was born in Norwalk, graduated from the Ontario, Ohio, school system and has lived most of his life in Mansfield.

Regarding the issues, Yarbrough wrote that the "best government is local."

"Our constitution was built specifically to restrict the federal government in favor of the states and the individual people," he said. "Too many want to prescribe dramatic solutions, but fail to look to how we became the world's economic superpower. The U.S. relied on state-fueled innovation and free markets. We grew to be as powerful as we are as a direct result of low levels of regulation and the utmost individual liberty.

"While health and workplace safety regulations are good, we have gone well beyond a healthy level of taxes and regulation," Yarbrough said. "If we do not return to the formula acting as our catalyst of prosperity, we are doomed to be no better than Greece in the very near future."

Tiberi pointed to issues such as "strengthening the economy and job creation."

"Congress needs to cultivate a stable business environment, where entrepreneurs are free from the uncertainty of today's abysmal tax and ever-increasing regulatory climate, thereby creating and expanding businesses, hiring more workers and setting a new course for a prosperous nation that puts us on track for long-term economic growth and permanent job creation," Tiberi said.

"It is imperative that we reduce spending and work toward a balanced budget; in fact, it is a matter of national security.

"However, simply raising taxes by allowing the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts to expire would not only leave the problem unsolved, it would represent the largest tax hike in American history, affecting nearly every American.

"I believe we need to cut the bureaucratic red tape that over-burdens U.S. businesses, stifling their ability to grow, expand and hire."

Litt said he wants to work on "unemployment (and) underemployed, job losses to other states and overseas" if he is elected.

"We must bring about opportunities for businesses to be able to add people and equipment, in turn offer them incentives to do so by the means of cutting their cost, put in place legislation to limit a company's ability to close down and freely move to the highest bidding state or overseas by putting penalties on them (and) make corporations pay their fair share of American taxes," he said.

Reese said important issues to residents of the 12th District and to all Americans include job creation, economic recovery and revitalization of American innovation and manufacturing.

"As a small-business owner, I have a unique perspective on, and understanding of, the challenges facing the American worker," Reese said.

"I am proposing a solution that will benefit American workers by creating good-paying jobs and aid small businesses by increasing the availability of credit to expand and increase profit. I will facilitate public-private partnerships to guarantee that America remains on the leading edge of technology, medicine, renewable energy, transportation technology and local manufacturing.

"With the American worker and the American entrepreneur working together on the fair and even playing field of Main Street economics, we can successfully overcome the current Great Recession in which we find ourselves."