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15th District Congresswoman Files For Reelection

Ohio Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy turned in the necessary paperwork Monday to run for reelection. WOSU talked with the Democrat and her opponent about some of this year's campaigns key points.

"Are you ready to file? I am ready to file. Wonderful."

It took less than ten minutes for the 15th District representative to file her petition to run again for a second term in the U.S. House. Democratic Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy handed over a check for $85 along with 111 signatures at the Franklin County Board of Elections.

This year's 15th District race likely will be as closely contested as it was two years ago when Kilroy won by a narrow margin. With Ohio's unemployment rate hovering around 11 percent, jobs can be expected to be at the forefront of the campaign. Kilroy, who supports cap and trade legislation, said job creation is on her radar.

"If we don't get cap and trade legislation passed, we will see even more jobs go to China. We can't let that happen. And cap and trade legislation will actually bring jobs to Ohio," she said.

Kilroy said cap and trade will create some 27,000 jobs in Ohio in the form of green energy work. But her opponent, Republican Steve Stivers, said Kilroy's numbers don't hold up.

"The U.S. Association of Manufacturers says it will kill 200,000 other jobs. That's a net loss no matter who's doing the math," he said.

Another hot button issue is health care reform. Kilroy stands to lose some moderate and conservative votes this November as a result of her support of reforming the nation's health care system. But she does not see it that way.

"If we can get this accomplished for the people of our community and make us all healthier and improve the bottom line for our local businesses, that would be a good thing, and I don't think that is something that loses you votes," Kilroy said.

But Stivers thinks votes cast by Kilroy will help his campaign.

"Kilroy's votes on spending, Kilroy's vote on health care, Kilroy's vote on cap and trade are votes that will cost her at the ballot box because all three of those votes kill jobs and squeeze capital out of our economy. And this is a time when we cannot really afford that with 10 percent unemployment," he said.

There's one thing Kilroy and Stivers can agree on and that's the competitiveness of the 15th Congressional district race. Two years ago, when they ran against each other, about 2,000 votes decided the outcome.