GOP Congressman Warren Davidson and his Democratic opponent, Vanessa Enoch of West Chester, finally got a chance Oct. 18 to debate meaty issues, including the U.S. budget, health care, climate change, gun control, opioids and the minimum wage.
Enoch told the audience on Miami University’s Hamilton campus that she’d take action in Congress to address many of the problems facing the district. Davidson was skeptical of the federal government’s role, saying he preferred local municipalities to handle issues independently through federally funded grants.
They had a lively repartee.
“Early on he had not accepted the invitation, so I was concerned that he wasn’t going to be willing to debate,” Enoch said.
Davidson replied, “I appreciate my opponent. She’s run a good campaign. She’s been vocal; this was probably the most accusatory—and certainly not factually accurate, in many cases.”
Davidson may have been referring to Enoch’s allegations that he’s in the pocket of the private insurance industry and private student loan industry.
Both candidates said they were glad to get a chance to debate.
Davidson said that the most important thing was to look at each candidate’s ideas, saying, “I think people who watched the debate will see a clear contrast between why my opponent is a Democrat and why I’m a Republican at a base ideology.”
The candidates had a brief spat over the humaneness of the country’s current immigration policy. Enoch said, “It shouldn't be a partisan issue as it relates to making humane policy. I think that this current Congress has made everything a partisan issue and that's a concern for me.”
Davidson responded, saying, “There’s only one party that decided to brand themselves ‘the resistance,’ so we can see who made it a partisan issue in Congress.”
The crowd responded to this with some “wows” and booed.
Enoch reminded Davidson that he had come to Congress through a resistance movement, the Freedom Caucus, and that the people resisting aren’t being heard.
What you need to know about each candidate:
The Democratic candidate has lived in West Chester for nearly 16 years.
She has a Ph.D. in public policy and social change from Union Institute & University, an MBA in information technology from Xavier University and a bachelor’s in criminal justice from The Ohio State University.
Enoch owned and operated her small business Cultural Impact LLC, which does policy analysis, auditing and business coaching, for almost 20 years.
She was a senior IT project manager in the insurance industry and was department chair at American National University for seven years.
Early in her career she worked as a chemical dependency counselor. She’s a widowed single mother of two.
Davidson was elected to Congress in 2016 following the resignation of then-Speaker of the House John Boehner.
He was born in Sidney, Ohio, and enlisted in the Army after high school.
He attended the U.S. Military Academy, graduating in 1995. In 2000 he returned to Ohio to help run his family’s manufacturing business before starting a company of his own and receiving his MBA from the University of Notre Dame.
Davidson was elected after being endorsed by Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan, whose caucus influenced the 2015 resignation Boehner.
Davidson describes himself as a constitutional conservative and he serves on the House Financial Services Committee. He has been married for more than 21 years, has two children.