It’s never been an option from my perspective; after the remapping of the Ohio House Rep districts, Thomas Hall has always been the clear favorite. That’s not because Matt King, who is running against him in the primary that voters will decide on August 2nd of 2022, is a bad candidate. But just that Thomas Hall is that good. He checks all the boxes you’d want for a Representative seat in the new 46th district, which now includes Liberty Township, Ohio, and traditional districts from the north, such as Middletown. Recently at a West Chester Tea Party meeting, Thomas and Matt spoke to the audience to make their pitch as to why voters should vote for them, and I present those videos here, which comes down to one key attribute that decides the issue. In Thomas Hall’s case, he has a lot of experience and has been very successful during his first term in Columbus. He has done all the right things, including passing blockbuster legislation across Governor DeWine’s desk for H.B. 99, which makes schools safer in the case of a mass shooting. Matt King just doesn’t have the experience, and it showed as he presented himself. Both are nice young men, but in the case of Thomas Hall, he’s just an exceptional political representative who has done such a good job that no challenger would do well against.
To Matt’s point, he did the best he could, and he’s right about the Founding Fathers being very young when they were involved in the revolutionary business of starting a new country. He’s been a guy from the business world, not a politician like Thomas Hall, who has two terms as a trustee in Madison Township to add to his resume even as young as he is. And typically, we might say that not being in politics is more attractive than voting for the incumbent. In most races, that would be true. But Thomas Hall is such an exceptional young man who has faced the hottest fires of controversy and done so with great poise; you get the feeling from him that he’s just getting started. Thomas Hall has already shown that he can go up to Columbus and work with people who do not agree with him and work on legislation in a productive way to get their support. And he knows how to navigate the rough waters of politics without being a sell-out to his district. Of course, that has made Thomas Hall a target for those jealous of his success. For instance, Sheriff Jones has endorsed Matt King because the Sheriff is on the record being angry at legislation Thomas sponsored, like H.B. 99. But Thomas has managed to pick up the enthusiastic endorsement of Butler County Sheriff’s Office Police Union, which Sheriff Jones is a member. He also has the support of the NRA, Buckeye Firearms, Ohio Right to Life, and the Middletown Police Union. Sometimes when you are too good, you do make enemies. In my opinion, Thomas Hall has made the right kind of enemies and he made those enemies because he had done his job too well.
Some of those jealous forces have thrown their support behind Matt King simply because they don’t want to live up to the high bar that Thomas has set for them. Matt is a blank sheet of paper, making it much easier to live up to. The hope that a fresh set of eyes as a House Rep might turn out well is the same kind of reasonable hope that someone who purchases a lottery ticket might expect. You can’t win if you don’t buy one. But in buying one, you accept that the outcome is uncertain. In my experience, a person with a business background like Matt has will have a tough time because when you run a business, you can hire who you want, and if you need money, you just go to the bank and make your pitch. The tricky thing about Columbus is that it already has people there whom you have to work with who have their own ideas about things, so it is difficult at best to get anything done and to do so with your authenticity intact—and even saying that of course Democrats who enter the Republican Party as Trojan Horses would like to see an end to Thomas Hall. You can see that clearly in the upcoming fundraiser mysteriously sponsored by the Republican Party of Butler County that has the Super Bowl trophy of Spencer Ware on it. They even put the trophy in Matt’s name. When you see this kind of thing, its always an indication that the candidate doesn’t have their own record to stand on, so they try to evoke the records of other people, like the Super Bowl exploits of a person who was on Super Bowl-winning teams, or Sheriffs with a long history of service, but a history of wanting to be a kingmaker and knock off political rivals at the party level.
But the most convincing case for Thomas Hall came when he was pressed during the meeting by a critic of H.B. 218, which was a reaction to the impositions of the vaccine mandates. The critic in the audience was pressing Thomas for his support of the bill, which she did not feel went far enough in protecting employees from their employers during Covid. Thomas was front and center with all that activity, so he has a track record to criticize. But I think he handled that emotional question very well, which shows how much grace under fire he can handle, so I offer it here. Many political personalities would have stumbled through this kind of criticism, but Thomas did all he could at the time, so he could confidently answer the question. There was undoubtedly a time limit being imposed on H.B. 218, and Thomas wanted to get something done, even if it didn’t go as far as the person asking the question wanted it to go, which was complete protection from mandatory vaccines. When the Biden administration put forth their Executive Order in September of 2021, it was essentially a race against time, putting politicians like Thomas Hall between a rock and a hard place on purpose. There is a fine line between individual rights and the rights of a company to require employees to comply with the needs of a workplace. That caused a lot of trouble for Columbus in reacting to the pressure; Thomas showed outstanding leadership during this challenging situation and was very respectful to his critic when asked the question. Of course, many of the Biden mandates have been found unconstitutional, as many thought would be the case all along. H.B. 218 tried to do something in a really tough time, so there wasn’t much more Thomas could do, but his reaction to the criticism is telling because it shows how he can handle pressure, even when it’s critical. Matt King couldn’t be asked any questions because he didn’t have a record to defend. And ultimately, that’s what this race comes down to; one of the candidates for the newly created 46th District in Ohio has a lot of experience and has been very successful. The other guy is hoping to use other people’s reputations to knock off a political rival who has set the bar too high for other politicians to live up to. That makes it a pretty clear case. Ultimately it’s up to voters, but the logic favors Thomas Hall greatly.