Congressman Robert Ney (R-Ohio) discussed his road to the House of Representatives, his career in the Republican Party and the upcoming 2000 election with GW College Republicans Thursday night in the Marvin Center.
The event was part of the CRs Congressional Lecture Series.
This is where it starts, Ney said. These elections are just as important as ’94 when (Republicans) took the House.
Ney said the Republican Party stands to lose some House seats in the November election but said Republicans are confident they will continue their progress in Congress.
We made more changes in the first hour than the Democrats did in 40 years, Ney said about 1994, his first year in the House of Representatives. I think we can win the House, but it’s going to be a tight margin, he said.
Ney, who was raised in a family of Democrats, said he had no intention of running for a House seat in Ohio because of low Republican support in the state.
After a meeting with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), Ney decided to run a campaign to develop a stronger Republican influence in his state.
(Gingrich) gave me all the right reasons why we had to do this, the congressman said. Things needed to be changed.
Ney is the first Republican elected in his district in half a century. Ohio is massively Republican now, Ney said. His family followed the trend by registering as Republicans, he said.
The congressman discussed the increasing role of the youth vote in politics. He said the appeal to younger generations has been evident in this year’s presidential campaigns.
Some of the greatest assets (to a candidate) are younger people and older people, Ney said. They are both very active.
Even if the younger generation does not have a high voter registration rate, they are still active and on target, he said.
Ney began his political career in 1980 when he was elected to the Ohio state House of Representatives. He spent time in Iran working for the American Embassy School System and also lived in Saudi Arabia for a short period. He was appointed to the state Senate in 1984 and was re-elected in 1988 and 1992.
Ney represents Ohio’s 18th District in the House of Representatives and serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Banking and Financial Services Committee and the House Administration Committee. Ney also has been selected for the House deputy whip position.
Ney, who was originally scheduled to speak in April, was able to fill in for Rep. Dave Hobson (R-Ohio), when a family emergency prevented him from coming.
Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) is scheduled to speak for the CR Congressional Lecture Series March 1.