Independent candidate running to rep Dayton, Springfield in Congress

A local small business owner is running as an independent candidate for the Dayton area’s congressional district race this fall.

Michael Harbaugh, a Kettering resident and political newcomer, said his campaign is centered on winning the trust of voters.

“I’m wanting to rebuild that trust, and I’m putting in the work,” he said. “I’m not controlled by millionaire, billionaire donors or political party bosses telling me what to do.”

Ohio’s 10th Congressional District includes Montgomery and Greene Counties, as well as part of Clark County. The seat is currently held by U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton.

During the Nov. 5 general election, Harbaugh will be running against Turner and Democratic challenger Amy Cox, who won the March 19 primary against three other Democrats.

Harbaugh co-owns The Wild Banana food truck, a business he operates with his family.

He’s throwing his hat into the congressional race after years of interest in politics and a desire to “get up off the sidelines.”

He said he chose to run as an independent candidate because he wants voters to focus on the issues, not party affiliation.

In Ohio, non-party candidates wanting to run for Congress in the Nov. 5 general election had to submit candidate petitions to the most populous county in their district by mid-March. The board of elections had to certify the petitions by May 31.

This summer, Harbaugh has been hosting rallies outside of Turner’s Dayton office to meet new District 10 residents and protest against warfare.

Issues that are top of mind for Harbaugh if elected are affordable healthcare, labor reform, ending “forever” wars, reducing government waste and investment in education.

Harbaugh said he is the father of a child with Type 1 diabetes, and his personal experiences caring for his child highlighted disparities in the healthcare system.

“It’s not just the cost of insulin, too,” he said. “They charge you exorbitant amounts in our for-profit healthcare system for the tools you need: blood sugar testers, the pump that you wear, the sensor you wear. I think we should use the wealth of this country to provide healthcare to people.”

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