On Thursday, Republican congressional candidate for Ohio’s 15th district special election Mike Carey spoke at a dinner hosted by the Athens County Republicans.
The dinner was held at the Shade Community Center, and it featured live music and a silent auction in addition to Carey’s speech. Before speaking, Carey received a brief introduction from Athens County Republicans Chairman Pete Couladis.
To start off, Carey detailed his personal history in rural Ohio, anecdotally describing part of his childhood growing up on a 500 acre farm. He then described earning a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or ROTC, scholarship and attending school at The Ohio State University before joining the Army National Guard. Later, Carey became a part of the Ohio Coal Association.
He emphasized his frustration with the current coal industry, saying coal mining has gone down from 1.2 billion tons per year to 437 million tons. Carey attributed this change to policies from former President Barack Obama, President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York Senator Chuck Schumer.
“We have watched the destruction of this industry before our very eyes,” Carey said. “For no environmental reason.”
Carey touched on the border issue as well, stating his agreement with former President Donald Trump’s ideas on building a wall. There is not only a humanitarian crisis at the border, but a drug crisis as well, Carey said.
Additionally, he brought forward his belief that the federal government has “bribed the public with the public’s money” throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. is moving more towards socialism rather than democracy, he said. Carey believes socialism restricts freedom and said it was his motivation for his campaign.
Carey also addressed rising gasoline prices and the nation’s pull out of Afghanistan. He cited his experience within the armed forces which taught him to “never leave a man behind.” He said this idea was not followed when Biden pulled U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.
“What he (Biden) has done to this country, what he's done to our position in the world, is a travesty,” Carey said.
Finishing off his speech, Carey addressed his opponent Allison Russo. He criticised her policies but promised to fight to win the congressional race.
Following his speech, Carey spoke with The Post regarding his stance on university age voters.
“I want to make sure that you have the true college experience like I did, and so I would like to encourage them to get involved and vote,” Carey said. “I really think that we need to have a direction in this country that allows you to go back to your classrooms, and enjoy the things that everybody enjoys when they're going to college.”
Brad Kennedy, a senior studying political science and serving as president of the Ohio University College Republicans echoed Carey’s sentiment about young voters. The average age of those in the Republican party is usually pretty high, he said, and he wants to show others there are young voters who are passionate about conservative ideals.