ELYRIA – Republican presidential candidate John Davis carries a massive wrench painted red, white and blue.
“Nobody forgets a guy with a wrench,” the 54-year-old Grand Junction, Colo., contractor said Monday during a campaign stop at Donna’s Diner.
Davis said he didn’t realize until one of the diner’s customers told him that the wrench he had resting on his shoulder was made by Elyria-based Ridge Tool.
Davis walked down the streets of Elyria from where his campaign bus had parked, shaking hands and handing out literature before he walked into the diner and began explaining his position to the breakfast crowd and some who had come out to meet a man in the hunt for the most powerful job in the world.
Almost immediately, Davis launched into what he thinks is wrong with the administration of President Barack Obama.
“We need to get regulation off the backs of free enterprise and business,” he said.
Common sense and local leaders, not Washington bureaucrats and Obama, should be making the decisions about what needs regulated and what doesn’t, he said. He points to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an example of what he sees as out-of-control regulation.
“I stand for family values, Godly values,” he said later.
His campaign literature describes Davis as a conservative Republican, and he said he intends to carry that message to every one of the nation’s 3,143 counties, all of which he intends to visit during his campaign. Davis said he’s been to 1,025 counties so far and estimates he can achieve his goal sometime around June 2012.
Davis said he doesn’t have a college degree, but he has “been to the school of hard knocks” during his lifetime.
He believes the country needs to change and that conservatives need to take a strong stand.
“We need to get control of the White House and Congress,” he told one table. “This working together hasn’t worked.”
Randy Colnar of Grafton came with some family for breakfast and to see Davis. He said Davis had some good things to say, and he was impressed that Davis was a small businessman.
He also didn’t mind the wrench, particularly since it was locally made.
“Being a politician is like show biz, you’ve got to have props,” Colnar said with a smile.
Pete Aldrich of Elyria said he was happy to hear from Davis, although he doubts he has a chance to win the Republican nomination.
Donna Dove, who owns the diner, said she was contacted a couple weeks ago about holding the campaign stop. She said she had no problem agreeing, although she won’t say who she plans to vote for.
“I own a restaurant. I’m a secret voter, I can’t say either way,” Dove said. “But I can say I’m not happy right now with how things are going.”
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.