AKRON, OH – Tom Zawistowski, President of the We the People Convention and Executive Director of the Portage County TEA Party, confirmed today that he is indeed considering running for Congress for the open seat in the Ohio 16th District. The seat is currently held by Republican Jim Renacci, who is running for Ohio Governor. The Ohio 16th District includes parts of Cuyahoga, Media, Summit, Stark and Portage counties as well as all of Wayne County in Northeast Ohio.
Zawistowski said, “I have been getting a lot of inquires about my running for Congress and I felt that I should make this public statement to clarify my position. I am honored that several influential parties within, and connected to, the Republican Party reached out to me and asked me to consider running for this seat about a month ago. Since then I have been talking to people I trust and respect within the party, like Congressman Jim Jordan and Warren Davidson and others, as well as leaders in the TEA Party Movement locally, statewide and nationally about that possibility. Let me be clear, my main goal and focus, and that of the TEA Party Movement, is to restore representative government to all levels of government in our nation. The decision to run or not to run for Congress will be made based on what options are available that best help us achieve our goals. So, yes, I am considering running for Congress in that context.”
Zawistowski continued, “We don’t take this decision lightly. The two Cuyahoga County based candidates in this race will spend millions to win the Republican primary. We don’t have millions. My wife and I have spent most of our small life savings and significant amounts of our annual income from our small family business helping to fund the TEA Party Movement in Ohio over the past eight years. Often working up to 80 hours per week combined without pay. That being said, Judge Roy Moore was outspent 7:1 in his run-off primary in Alabama last month and won. Last year, when I led the effort in Ohio to elect Donald Trump we were outspent by probably 30:1 and we won. If I decide to run I am confident that we will win because no candidate will have anywhere near the grassroots support that I will have. Furthermore, I was encouraged by a poll that we took in the district last week that showed that I was the only one of the four potential candidates that had majority support from people who already knew who we were. Interestingly both candidates who have served, or are serving, in the Ohio House had 2:1 negative ratings from people who knew them. Even the third announced candidate, who is a sports figure, had a negative rating from those who knew who he was.”
Zawistowski concluded, “That being said, tens of thousands of hard working, Patriotic, TEA Party supporters depend on me to provide direction and leadership on a daily basis, so this decision is not about me it’s about them and what we need to do for our nation. My running would pull considerable money, time and effort from the TEA Party members locally and around the state and the nation who would be personally invested in my running. I don’t take that commitment lightly and I will not ask them to make that commitment unless it is absolutely clear that it is the best use of our collective resources in attaining our overall goals. We will decide if my running for Congress is the best thing to do for our Movement and our nation most likely by the end of this year.”