Candidate Interview: Chad Monnin, Ohio House District 19

Army veteran and entrepreneur Chad Monnin is challenging incumbent Republican Anne Gonzales in the 19th District of the Ohio House, running as a Libertarian.

The Ohio Republican Party defends its favored incumbents with ferocity, but Monnin has invested more than $100,000 in his campaign.

A resident of New Albany, Monnin is a founder and former executive of Mission Essential Personnel, a privately-held company which “provides interpreters, translators, and cultural advisors to the US military and defense organizations.”

After working on Newt Gingrich’s 2012 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Monnin produced and co-wrote the documentary film Of By For.

Media Trackers sat down with Monnin this week to discuss his background and his decision to wage a general election fight against an ally of Republican Governor John Kasich in the governor’s home district.

Video of our interview follows.

Asked why he chose to run against Rep. Gonzales, Monnin expressed concern with his sense that “Ohio is losing a little bit of its sovereignty.”

“Ohio is not a province of Washington, DC,” he added.

Monnin identified Kasich’s unilateral enactment of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, ongoing questions about state K-12 funding, and increasing state spending as three of the issues prompting him to enter the race.

“I don’t want to be in politics at all,” Monnin told Media Trackers.

“I would much rather Anne Gonzales be a legislator and be beholden to the people and accountable to the people,” he explained, noting his belief that the incumbent serves corporate donors in the health care industry and elsewhere.

In the most recent reporting period, the top contribution to Rep. Gonzales was a $3,000 donation from International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 in Cleveland.

Gonzales received $2,000 from Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice PAC in addition to $1,000 donations from Ohio Iron Workers Association, Laborers International Union District Council of Ohio, and Ohio Association of Physician Assistants, among others.

During the same reporting period, all but $100 of Monnin’s campaign contributions were from Monnin himself.