By Gene Rossides
Freshman Congressman Zack Space, Democrat of the 18th Congressional District of Ohio, is doing a terrific job for his constituents and for the Greek American community. But he needs our financial support in his first reelection campaign.
The New York Times recently devoted a full article to Congressman Spaceʼs campaign for reelection titled “G.O.P. Zeroes In on a Democrat it Sees as a Fluke Winner.” The Times correspondent wrote:
“Seven months into his freshman term, Mr. Space is under siege from the Republican Party, which declared his defeat one of its top goals for 2008…. Both parties see Mr. Spaceʼs seat as an important prize. The 18th Congressional District…is Republican territory; George W. Bush received 57 percent of the vote here in 2004” (NY Times, Aug. 28, 2007, A18, col.1).
Republicans believe the district is important in their efforts to regain the House while the Democrats take the opposite view.
Four Republicans have announced their campaigns to defeat Space. The Republican campaign committee placed automated phone calls to the districtʼs voters attacking Space over the Memorial Day weekend and also placed TV and radio ads attacking him last month. This is very early in a campaign to be doing this and demonstrated the Republican desire to win the seat in 2008.
Iʼm a Republican and am supporting Zack Space for reelection because he has served as an outstanding Congressman for his 18th Congressional District constituents and has also shown leadership in support of the rule of law in foreign affairs regarding Cyprus, Greece and Turkey.
Mr. Space is receiving good marks from Republican voters in the district. Mr. Christopher Maag, the NY Times reporter, stated:
“At the Muskingum County Fair, Mr. Space gave an update on the farm bill. Most farmers in attendance described themselves as Republicans and all of those interviewed said they supported Mr. Space.
ʽI know a few people around these partsʼ said Darrel Cubbison, 70, a Republican who has been president of the fair board since 1978, ʽand the general consensus is that Zack Space is doing a darn good job.ʼ”
The 18th Congressional District of Ohio is a sprawling, largely rural area, stretching some 200 miles. It runs along the eastern half of Ohio and towards the south. Itʼs a substantial farming community and has coal-mining activity. There is no large city in the district. It includes the growing exurbs of Akron, Canton, Youngstown and Columbus. Television advertising in the district is expensive because there are six media markets.
Zack Spaceʼs legislative record in the first seven months of his two year term is extensive and substantial. During his short Congressional tenure, he has emerged as a leader on a number of issues of vital importance to Ohioʼs 18th Congressional District. His endeavors have included the crafting of a Farm Bill based on the needs of Southeastern Ohio farmers, pushing for stronger ethics reform, providing health insurance to millions of children and fighting attempts to provide amnesty and taxpayer-funded benefits to illegal immigrants.
“I am very proud of what the fresh faces in Congress have been able to accomplish in such a short period of time,” Space said. “I have successfully urged Congress to pass the most comprehensive ethics reform in history, passed provisions to expand rural broadband access, stood up for the needs of my districtʼs farmers, and fought for short-changed veterans. I also voted to ensure millions of children receive health insurance coverage and make sure illegal immigrants are denied taxpayer funded handouts. We have a very long way to go, but we have come much farther than anyone expected.”
“When my constituents sent me to Congress, they were looking for a fresh start- a break from the embarrassing representation that gave the 18th a bad name. With so much trust placed in me, I knew I had to hit the ground running, and that effort has already paid off.”
Zack Space was born and raised in Dover, Ohio where he was the elected City Law Attorney. For twenty years he was in private law practice with his father Socrates, the son of Zachery and Despina Pardos Space of the isle of Icaria. His grandparents came through Ellis Island in the early 20th century.
Zack is a member of AHEPA, the Pan-Icarian Brotherhood, the American Hellenic Institute and the St. George Greek Orthodox Church of Massillon, Ohio, where both of his children were baptized.
After graduating from Dover High School in 1979, Zack attended Kenyon College in Knox County. During his four years, he excelled in the classroom and on the football field. While earning a degree in political science, he was awarded All-American honors while playing for the Kenyon Lords, and was named the 1982 Athlete of the Year at Kenyon. Following his graduation from Kenyon, Zack enrolled in the Ohio State University College of Law, earning his Juris Doctorate in 1986.
One year ago, Zack Space was unknown to the national Greek American community. Today, he is the newest Greek American Congressman fighting for our issues. In his first seven months in Congress, Zack has co-sponsored, H.Res. 1456, the House version of American Owned Property in Occupied Cyprus Claims Act, H.Res.627 and H.Res.620 supporting the removal of Turkish occupation troops from Cyprus, H.Res.373 urging Turkey to respect the rights and religious freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, H.Res.356 regarding FYROM, H. Res. 2526 to designate Greece for the visa program, a resolution recognizing Greek Independence Day, a resolution honoring AHEPAʼs 85th anniversary, and a resolution honoring the people of Crete for service during WWII.
Zack also headed a group of Members in urging the Secretary of State to expand the visa waiver program for Greece. Zack understands the need for a unified Cyprus based on American values and an end to the Turkish occupation. Zack has been a needed voice for Greek Americans across the nation. When it comes to the issues that matter to our community, we can be sure that Zack will represent us zealously.
Unfortunately, Zackʼs next election is around the corner. As a first term Congressman, he is being targeted. Our Greek American community must act now to keep this next generation of national political leadership in place. Zack Space is our vehicle to show the nation that the Greek American community is an important political force. Zack is from a small town in Ohio. The district he represents has a minimal Greek American population. Strong nationwide support to reelect a Greek American in rural Ohio will demonstrate our political interest and strength.
I urge every reader to make a contribution today to help ensure that Zack Space has the resources to remain in Congress. An immediate contribution of $2,300, $1,000, $500, $250, $125, $100 or the most you feel comfortable giving will be the money Zack needs in these crucial months of the current campaign.
For New Yorkers, John Catsimatides is chairing a fundraiser for Zack Space this coming week on September 20, 2007 at the Atrium Café in the Olympic Tower building, 645 Fifth Avenue, between 5:30-7:30 p.m. The Congressman will be there in person. I urge all to attend.
Let me say a few words about the amount of oneʼs contribution. There are many who can afford the maximum of $2,300 allowed by the campaign finance law. I have contributed this amount. There are a great many who can afford $1,000 and $500, and I believe practically everybody can afford $250, $125 or $100. Please contribute as much as you can. Keep in mind that Space does not accept money from lobbyists.
Checks should be made out to “Zack Space for Congress” and mailed to P.O. Box 266, Dover, OH 44622. You can also make a secure online contribution at www.ZackSpace.org.
Please act today. It is important for our community.
Gene Rossides is president of the American Hellenic Institute and Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.