Cuyahoga Falls man returns home to Zanesville, announces campaign

Local News

ZANESVILLE, Ohio – At the Zanesville Civic League, AJ Harris announced his run for Ohio’s 36th House District.

During his speech, he thanked his hometown for their support as he prepares for the primary election. He says he came into town to show his team that Zanesville supports his campaign run.

“We have support down here. These people care and love me down here. I think there’s no better way to — no better way to show that than by coming down here and getting my family, friends and community together.”

He also said he made the trek from Cuyahoga Falls to Zanesville to remind people to go out and vote.

“This is the time to vote. If there’s any year to vote, it’s this year. 20-20, not only take back the Whitehouse. We want to focuse on State Assembly race as well.”

Harris introduced the crowd to Alaina Swope who is running for the 97th District as a Democrat. This district includes Zanesville and she says the community deserves a fighter.

“I show up. And I speak my mind. I’m going to be a progressive voice in the Ohio Statehouse. A progressive, young, female voice. I’ll be fighting for economic growth, I’ll be fighting for the protection of women’s reproductive rights. I’ll be fighting for better jobs to be brought into this area because for decades — we haven’t seen any economic growth, any new industry in Zanesville and that’s what the people need.”

Swope says she knows that a lot of residents in Zanesville may not believe in her policies but she wants to listen to what everyone has to say.

“I’m here to listen to the people in this district and listen to what they — their concerns are because I believe that generally we all want the same thing. It’s just the matter of messaging and how we get there together.”

She does not have to run for the primary election but said she supports Harris’ run.

Harris is a democrat. He says his campaign platform includes sustainable job growth and living wages, equal work for equal pay, gun reform and fixing the area’s roads, bridges and walkways.

“I’m running on my personal experiences. Where I lack professional experience, I make up in personal experience.”

He is a former East Akron substitute teacher. He says he wants to bring the point of view from working in the classroom to the Statehouse when making decisions on education.

“I’ve seen, firsthand the struggles these teachers are facing. Not making a lot of money and they’re — they’re doing four, five different jobs. They really don’t have time to do the one thing they were hired to do which is educate.”

Harris mentioned in his speech that he grew up in Zanesville and actually played basketball at the civic league. And says that the city will always have a special place in his heart. In Zanesville, Nicolette Pizzuto, WHIZ News.