Two vie in 20th district primary

From Gongwer -

Two Republicans are vying for the right to take on Rep. Heather Bishoff (D-Blacklick) in the race for the 20th House District seat.

Both candidates - Bobby Mitchell and Lisa Schacht - are political newcomers hoping to unseat the incumbent in the eastern Franklin County district.

Ms. Schacht, who was recently endorsed by the Franklin County Republican Party, is co-owner of Schacht Family Farm. She has a bachelor's degree in home economics from The Ohio State University.

After years of being politically active, Ms. Schacht decided it was time to run for elected office.

"I have been politically active on the grassroots level for pretty much all my adult life," she said in an interview. "I just felt the timing was right for this opportunity."

Mr. Mitchell is senior pastor at the Father's House, a Canal Winchester church. Retired from the Air Force, Mr. Mitchell has a bachelor's degree in business management from Franklin University, as well as doctorate in theology from South Carolina's Institute of Christian Works.

After speaking with residents of the district, Mr. Mitchell said in an interview that he "felt compelled to run."

If elected, Mr. Mitchell said he intends to focus on gun rights, anti-abortion issues and the military.

"I would do everything in my power to champion the cause for the military," he said. "We need to make sure we have a candidate that knows something about protection."

He also said he wants to support small businesses by lessening the burden placed on them.

"I want to make sure we lower taxes," he said.

Ms. Schacht, meanwhile, said her focus would be on economic development and education reform, with an emphasis on workforce development.

"There needs to be continued expansion of opportunities for people in our community who may not be college-bound," she said.

Ms. Schacht describes herself as "pro-life, pro-self-reliance and pro-family."

"I'd like to see our communities operate a way that facilitates families to be strong and self-reliant," she said.

Mr. Mitchell, an African-American, believes he can bring diversity to the Republican Party and beat Rep. Bishoff.

"I can actually beat the Democratic incumbent," he said. "That's what's different."

Ms. Schacht believes she is the more conservative candidate in the race and can help to continue the economic recovery.

"I just feel I'm more conservative. I've got a long-standing record in the community serving," she said. "I've been willing over the years to work long and hard to accomplish a valuable objective and that's what I'll do."

Rep. Bishoff retained the seat in 2014 by winning her general election contest with 57% of the vote.