Rookie to Washington: Former Football Star or Medical Sales Rep
A 16th district congressional candidate in the state of Ohio, Susan Moran Palmer has been a lifetime resident of the state. She was born in Youngstown, Ohio, attended school in Berea, Ohio, and currently resides in Westlake, Ohio, where she has for the past eighteen years. She received her bachelor of business administration in business administration and management from Baldwin Wallace University, a four year liberal arts college, and went on to pursue a number of leadership positions in the field.
Palmer served as the regional account manager for Cardima for four years, a sales consultant for SMPalmer Consulting, CryoCath Technologies for the following nine years, a senior account manager for Medtronic for five years, and the principal account manager for Medtronic, a medical equipment company, up until this year. Palmer quit her sales job with Medtronic earlier this year to focus on the race, her first political office endeavor. Both Palmer, a democrat, and her opponent, Anthony Gonzalez, a republican, are first-time candidates. The district’s last representative was Jim Renacci, a republican, who opted instead to run for Senate as opposed to re-election.
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Palmer’s campaign site highlights six issues ranking as most important in her race. These issues are healthcare, Medicare and Medicaid, jobs and the economy, clean energy, ending corruption, and choice. Palmer has had over thirty years’ experience in the healthcare profession, and, as such, has seen first-hand the importance of effective medicine and an efficient healthcare system.
She believes that a strong healthcare system has the power to provide a foundation for a prosperous America, but in its current state is only failing American citizens. To ensure that every American has access to affordable and high-quality healthcare, Palmer will work to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, an effort she believes was a big step in the right direction that the current Congress has only succeeded in weakening and dismantling.
On a similar note, Palmer believes that both Medicare and Medicaid are fundamental aspects of a social safety net assisting millions of American citizens every day. As such, she promises to work to allow both programs to put prescription drugs out for bid in an effort to significantly lower prices while maintaining the quality of service.
In regard to jobs and the economy, Palmer argues that a strong economy is synonymous with successful small and community businesses. According to Palmer, entrepreneurs and small business owners need to have the same access to capital required to hire sufficient employees; once in office, she is committed to increasing funding opportunities for such businesses, in an effort to give them the opportunity to take crucial risks to achieve their business goals.
When it comes to clean energy, the state of Ohio is already ranked number two in the Midwest for clean energy jobs, and number one for manufacturing and solar. However, as with most things, there is still, and always, room for improvement, and Palmer believes this can only be achieved with targeted government support and the elimination of policy roadblocks.
There are many additional aspects to clean energy that Palmer addresses, including subsidies for fossil fuel companies, tax credits for the renewable energy industry, the Clean Power Plan and pollution standards. Her ultimate position on the issue is centered around the fact that the global world is continuing to move toward more renewable sources of fuel and away from fossil fuels, and with that continued shift, the United States cannot afford to be left behind. In order to ensure this, Palmer claims, the United States needs to implement policies that will encourage a clean energy industry, create jobs and fight climate change.
Not only does Palmer want to combat climate change, but she also wants to take action to end corruption. Especially in recent times, a culture of corruption, impacting every level of government all the way up to the federal government, has been made visible for all to see.
To stop this before it becomes any worse, Palmer will commit to working with members of Congress on both sides in an effort to pass anti-corruption legislation. Legislation, Palmer believes, that will achieve three things: it will strengthen ethics laws, limit the influence of money in politics, and assure voters’ voices are heard in Washington D.C.
The final issue Palmer emphasizes on her campaign website is choice. Believing that women, like all United States citizens, have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, Palmer is definitively pro-choice. Furthermore, she believes that women have the right to self-determination and equal protection under the law, which includes the personal decision of when to continue, and when to end, a pregnancy.
To ensure this protection, Palmer will make sure that every woman has access to a full range of reproductive health services without any government interference, as well as better support for those women who do choose to start a family. This support would include an improvement in parental leave policies and more affordable child care.
Palmer does not specifically address Gonzalez’s position on these particular issues, but his views are made known in debates between the two candidates, debates that were generally very respectable according to the media. The first issue addressed was that of guns. Palmer publicized her endorsement from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense America, and said she supports required background checks on those individuals wishing to purchase a gun.
She also supports “red flag laws” that would allow judges to forbid certain people from buying a gun. On the other hand, Gonzalez, who was endorsed by the National Rifle Association, believes the issue is less about guns and more about mental health. He suggested increasing money sent to schools for improved security measures, but also, like Palmer, would consider passing “red flag laws.”
The second issue discussed between the two candidates was that of taxes. Gonzalez favors the Republican tax plan, while Palmer said she would support a corporate tax cut, but claimed that the Republican plan would not pay for it. She went on to say that if Republicans wanted to do a tax cut for corporations, she would support the choice so long as they paid for it.
The following issue was centered around civility. This particular debate took place just a few days after the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. In light of that event, attempted bombings of media outlets, and increased criticism of President Trump, Gonzalez felt that more needed to be done in an effort to unify and increasingly divided country. Palmer continued the discussion by saying that while Trump is not individually responsible for the attacks, he has assisted in feuling existing division, and because of that, the checks and balances are incredibly important.
The final issue addressed in this individual debate was foreign policy. Both the candidates were asked about President Trump’s temperament when they were questioned about his administration’s isolationist approach to foreign policy. Gonzalez feels that the world has become significantly safer since Trump’s election. Palmer, on the other hand, feels that actions taken by the Trump administration since his election has irritated nearly every ally the United States has. The two candidates did express opposing viewpoints on most of the issues brought up, but they also addressed the other’s stance and remained respectful throughout the course of discussion.
During the reporting period of the campaign race, Palmer raised almost $21,000. None of that initial money raised, however, was from political action committees. In the three months covered by the report, according to Metro News, she spent $17,000 and had roughly that same amount left at the end of her period. Her final report, according to the same source, showed a $37,000 campaign debt to herself.
Her candidate, Gonzalez, is said to have raised ten times more money between the months of April and June than she did. Additionally, he spent twenty times more than she did and ultimately had seventeen times more money in the bank at the end of the reporting period, which fell on June 30. According to Sabrina Eaton of Metro News in a July 16 article, if campaign fundraising was any indicator, Republican candidate Anthony Gonzalez, former football star, was already across his goal line at that point in the race.
After the reporting period, through September 30, Palmer had raised over $143,000 in campaign contributions. Based on a financial summary provided by the Federal Election Commission, Palmer received no party committee contributions, but did receive just over $14,000 in other committee contributions, the specific committees, however, were not provided.
Based on the information I have gained from research on Susan Moran Palmer, I can confidently say that I would vote for this candidate, a decision not based solely on her party affiliation. While Palmer did not have any prior experience in a political office, she certainly had considerable experience in holding leadership positions for an extended period of time.
Palmer is an expert in asserting her position and selling her opinions, backed with evidence, as made clear in her decades of success in the field of sales. While the government is certainly no sales firm, the ability to address people with different beliefs and inform individuals in a respectful manner is a skill required in all fields, especially the government, and especially today. Tension between Republicans and Democrats, and even within those parties, as well as international tension is seemingly stronger than ever before.
Both ends of the spectrum need to communicate with one another in a civil manner, and Palmer has shown, through her career experiences as well has her demeanor throughout the entire race, specifically noted by the media in debates with Gonzalez, that she is capable of fostering discussion and strengthening such communication.
I do personally agree with most of Palmer’s addressed stances on issues, but more than that I agree with how she intends to go about implementing necessary change. Her goal does not appear to be weakening or belittling the other party, but instead working with them in an effort to create a stronger, more respectful and more unified nation. For that reason, over just her position, I would vote for Susan Moran Palmer.
After the results of the election were processed, Palmer received only 43.2% of the votes, and Gonzalez won the 16th district of Ohio with 56.8% of the votes. According to FiveThirtyEight, a 2018 election House forecast, there was a one in twelve chance the Democrat wins, and an eleven in twelve chance the Republican wins, making it incredibly unlikely that Palmer would have won the race.
Regardless of the results, however, the 16th district of Ohio would be sending a representative with no political experience to Washington. In terms of media portrayal of the election results, there was a big focus on the headline that a former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver had won a seat in Congress. Furthermore, it was emphasized that Gonzalez’s win would keep the seat in Republican hands. This, however, was just one seat.
After the entire election concluded, Democrats had gained thirty-two seats in the House. Republicans, on the other hand, had lost just that many, thirty-two, seats. With those shifts, there are currently 227 seats taken by Democrats and 198 filled by Republicans. This means that Democrats have taken control of the House, something that had not happened since 2010. As such, for at least the next two years, one-party rule is over in Washington.