Congressional candidate addresses students about hardship


After the event on Tuesday, Jan. 28, congressional candidate Aaron Godfrey addresses student questions one on one.

Madisyn Woodring Reporter

It is possible to escape the hardship of poverty, but it is increasingly difficult, a congressional candidate told the Kent State College Democrats on Tuesday.

“We’re supposed to be a country where working hard gets you somewhere and I see that less and less,” congressional candidate Aaron Godfrey said. “Less of a meritocracy and more of what’s your last name and where were you born.”

Godfrey grew up lower-middle class in Elyria, and those circumstances shaped his political ideology.

During his adolescence, his father was diagnosed with diabetes and could not afford insulin. This intensified when he lost his license to drive semi-tractors because he could not pass his physical.

Without a steady income, he rationed his insulin more and more until he passed away.

“It’s the trap of poverty,” Godfrey said. Small things can be life or death to those who lack money. 

Godfrey escaped the cycle of poverty when he graduated from Miami University in 2008 with a physics degree. Yet the issues that affected his upbringing such as health care brought him toward the political arena.

“We need people in Congress who are aware of these circumstances and have lived through them themselves and are willing to work towards fixing them and not just take up space and collect a retirement plan,” Godfrey said.

Godfrey is running against Ronald Karpus to be the Democratic candidate for Ohio’s 16th District on March 17. This district includes parts of Portage County as well as Stark, Wayne, Medina, Summit, and Cuyahoga County. The winner will compete against Republican incumbent, Anthony Gonzalez, in the general election on November 3.

Madisyn Woodring covers politics. Contact her at [email protected]