Yarbrough ready to place new ideas into arena
Bill Yarbrough is well aware that he is fighting an uphill battle in his effort to unseat U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Genoa Township).
But in Ohio’s newly gerrymandered 12th Congressional District, he believes that the only chance to oust the six-term representative is in a Republican primary.
“This sucker has become so red and so Republican that if there’s going to be an introduction of new ideas, it will have to be in a primary,” he said.
Yarbrough, 42, feels that Tiberi, because of his longevity in Washington, is no longer able to introduce those new ideas to move the district and country forward. He thinks that he has what it takes.
The husband and father of two describes himself as a “liberty activist,” and he wants to get the government out of people’s lives by “putting more stock in the individual and their choice in a free market place.”
Tiberi, he said, has lost touch with his conservative, small-government principals, pointing to his vote against banning incandescent light bulbs, his votes in favor of raising the debt ceiling and his opposition to de-funding National Public Radio.
Yarbrough is an admitted political neophyte, his only real experience coming in a failed 2010 bid for a state senate seat. But he believes that his lack of political experience is a positive.
“I think there’s a place for folks who have that experience,” he said. “When one’s experience becomes exclusively that which is political, there comes a need for that person to reorient themselves with what is happening in their communities.”
Yarbrough described the 2010 state senate race, in which he ran as a Libertarian, as a learning experience.
“There was an opportunity to learn without the pressure of being one of the members of the major two parties,” he said.
He does not run from the Libertarian label, and he also considers himself a member of the Tea Party.
“If Tea Party means less government, lower taxes, more individual liberty, I would certainly call myself a Tea Party person,” he said.
“I think party label is much less important that having the opportunity to represent your people with values and principal.”
Since his introduction on the political stage in 2010, he has learned a lot, he said, including the fact that the people of Ohio’s 12th Congressional District are not exactly happy with the representation they have received from Tiberi since 2001.
“I am a representative of the people,” he said. “I am someone who is truly grounded in what it is that families are encountering.”
Yarbrough, an organizational development consultant, said that his lifelong career in the private sector helps to keep him in touch with average people. Tiberi, he said, is too consumed by life in Washington, trapped in the Beltway and unable to effectively deal with the issues facing common folk.
He said that is no fault of Tiberi, but of a system that allows legislators to make a career out of politics. Yarbrough said that he is in favor of terms limits, but is unsure of exactly where the line should be drawn.
“In general, I am in favor of term limits,” he said. “I’m open for consideration to where that line is.”
If Yarbrough does get to Washington, his plan to get the ailing economy back on track is to take a non-interventionist approach, letting the free market sort itself out.
“Get the government out of the concept that (the economy) can be steered,” he said. “Any attempts to steer the economy have long-term consequences historically that offset and short-term gain.”
While Yarbrough is not naive to the fact that defeating a six-term congressman is no easy task, he believes that the most recent round of redistricting demonstrates that there is fear among establishment Republicans about his candidacy.
After living in the 12th district since 1988, his home now sits about 300 yards outside of the district after last year’s congressional maps were redrawn to accommodate for Ohio’s loss of two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“I feel very strongly that I am indeed indicative of the values and demographics of the district,” he said.
Still, he knows that defeating Tiberi, who has never garnered less than 53 percent of the vote in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, would be a major upset.
“I have no delusions of grandeur,” he said. “I know what I’m up against and what my chances are.”