FREMONT, Ohio — As November’s midterm elections approach, Republican J.R. Majewski spoke exclusively with Spectrum News about his race against longtime Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur in Ohio’s 9th District.
The full, uncut conversation from Aug. 22 can be viewed above or the full transcript can be viewed below.
A full report on the race in the 9th Congressional District can be viewed by clicking here.
Taylor Popielarz: Thanks for the time, J.R.
J.R. Majewski: You’re very welcome.
Taylor Popielarz: So first off, I’ve obviously been following your campaign for a while, but for people who are just learning about you, how would you sum up—what’s your elevator pitch for why people should vote for you this fall?
J.R. Majewski: Well, I think that the 9th District has been represented by Marcy Kaptur for the past 40 years, someone who puts party over the community and her constituents. And the folks of the 9th District see me as someone who was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. Someone who has made a successful career, professionally, and has constantly, consistently given back to the community. And they see this as another opportunity, as do I, to do exactly that.
Taylor Popielarz: What would you say, especially as you’ve been campaigning across the district, what’s the top priority in voters’ minds right now?
J.R. Majewski: Right now, inflation. When you look at our inflation rate, I mean, we’ve essentially given up one month’s income. I believe 8.3% is the consistent value of an average American’s income. And we’ve essentially given that up over the past few months. And it’s been tough. It’s been tough for hardworking families here in the state. As you can see, our fairs have become more populated. And a lot of that has to do with the fact that people don’t have the money to go out of state and vacation. So, they decided to stay home. But then again, you know, the rates of the fair here are much more expensive. You didn’t have to pay $2 before to park and you do this year.
Taylor Popielarz: You touched on this in the last question, but more broadly speaking, why are you right for this job? Why is Marcy Kaptur wrong for it?
J.R. Majewski: Well, you know, I think Marcy Kaptur has had 40 years to stand up against the Democratic Party, like she’s trying to insinuate she’s doing now. Marcy Kaptur has voted with Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi nearly 100% of the time. And, you know, the American people can’t wait until campaign season for our representatives to stand up for us. And, you know, I have a professional skill set that’s unique. I’ll be the only member of Congress that has a background in energy. I know how to balance a budget; I know how to lead. And servant leadership is in my core. And I will serve the people of the 9th District, regardless of their political affiliation, with my entire heart and soul.
Taylor Popielarz: Speaking of your professional resume, because this is your first political campaign, it’s been reported that you’re more than a year late to file a certified financial disclosure form that would show your income, investments, debts, employment. And it’s federal law that a congressional candidate file one, so why haven’t you?
J.R. Majewski: It’s already filed.
Taylor Popielarz: When?
J.R. Majewski: I filed it a couple of weeks ago. We weren’t—I wasn’t sure of the deadline. The House Ethics Committee, I believe it is, did not send me the document that would initiate me to even know that that exists. And you’ve got to remember, I ran a grassroots campaign. And as an average American, it’s hard to go through the monotony of rules and regulations to run for office and to figure all that out. When the article was posted, I immediately filled out the form. I got my tax returns and compiled all my information, and I filled it out on Monday. So, nothing to hide in my background, nothing to hide with my financials. I’m just an average everyday American who works really, really, really hard.
Taylor Popielarz: You’ve listed on your website, you talk about how you’ve worked in nuclear energy. What’s your current job right now, as people learn about you?
J.R. Majewski: I’m running for the 9th District of Ohio.
Taylor Popielarz: Then what was your last job?
J.R. Majewski: I was the director of client relations for a company that managed 78%, nearly 78%, of the global supply of spent nuclear fuel. So, I oversaw spent nuclear fuel storage, led teams that did that.
Taylor Popielarz: You were at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Why?
J.R. Majewski: Why? Because I had the right to do so. And I was supporting the president. And I took veterans there to support the president at the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally. And there’s nothing really much else to say about it.
Taylor Popielarz: I’ve read all the tweets you’ve posted about it explaining to people what you did or did not do that day. Marcy Kaptur obviously alleged in a campaign ad that that you broke down police barriers, you’ve stated that you did not do that. You did though end up, I was on the Hill that day, you ended up in an area that was not for the public, where there initially were barriers, and then they were removed, maybe not by you, but you were there. Why, if people see that and they learn that about you and say, well, why would you end up there in the first place where police officers were getting hurt, where people were basically trespassing? What’s your answer?
J.R. Majewski: I was nowhere in the vicinity of officers being hurt. I left long before any officers were hurt. As soon as the Capitol Police started showing force and let us know that we weren’t supposed to be there, you know, myself and everybody that I was with, we left.
Taylor Popielarz: Even though you got to an area where it had been barricaded off.
J.R. Majewski: We didn’t know that.
Taylor Popielarz: So, by the time you got there, you’re claiming you didn’t see any commotion?
J.R. Majewski: No. The barriers were already down. I mean, in hindsight, I’ve learned that there were barriers there. But no, everybody was marching up to the, you know, across the lawn. There was no indication that we weren’t supposed to be there until we got up to, you know, maybe 100 yards away from the Capitol building, which is pretty much where we stopped when we got near the media tower. That was about it.
Taylor Popielarz: And you never went into the building?
J.R. Majewski: Hell no.
Taylor Popielarz: You never put a hand on a police officer?
J.R. Majewski: No, not at all. Why would I do that?
Taylor Popielarz: Just asking because I wasn’t with you that day.
J.R. Majewski: I think there’s plenty of information out there. And I think someone with a professional resume like I have, working with some of the most dangerous material known to man, which is spent nuclear fuel, would find it hard to maintain their FBI clearance if they went and broke the laws in Washington, D.C. Marcy Kaptur has gone as far as claiming that I carried a weapon in Washington, D.C. I, amongst many other Americans that were there with me that day, knew that you could not carry a firearm to Washington, D.C. And we did not do that. I took veterans and people that couldn’t afford to go to Washington, D.C. there to support the president, who went there with peaceful minds. And, you know, I cried that day. I have video proof of me doing so. I hated what happened. And it’s a total injustice to keep having to answer questions about why I was there after I’ve said it repeatedly, why I was there. I have the right to be there. I broke no laws and Marcy Kaptur has spent nearly three quarters of a million dollars lying and smearing me because she has nothing to talk about with regards to her accomplishments. So that’s why Democrats are losing, because the public is tired of lies. And I have a legacy in this district, in the state, of being an excellent Samaritan. And that’s why I won the primary.
Taylor Popielarz: Because, as you just said, you cried that day; you were upset with how it transpired.
J.R. Majewski: Absolutely.
Taylor Popielarz: Do you regret going?
J.R. Majewski: No. No.
Taylor Popielarz: Do you think the 2020 election was stolen? I read an April 2021 comment –
J.R. Majewski: I’m not going to talk about that.
Majewski campaign staffer: We’re passed five minutes anyways.
J.R. Majewski: No, it’s OK. I’m not going to talk about the election being stolen.
Taylor Popielarz: Well, I just had a question about a comment you made to the Toledo Blade last year. It was on the record. You said, “I won’t sit here today and say that I have factual evidence that Joe Biden did not beat President Trump in a fair election. I can’t say that.” Since then, have you seen evidence that makes you feel differently?
J.R. Majewski: I stand by my statement to the Toledo Blade. I think that millions of Americans feel like the election was stolen. Many of our constituents here in the 9th District feel that the election was stolen. And I think our Congress owes them the evidence that proves whether or not it was or wasn’t. So, they need to satisfy all of their concerns. And I don’t think Congress did that. And it’s not just me that has questions. Like I said, many people in my district feel that the election was stolen, and so do people across the country. And it’s up to Congress to fill that void. And they haven’t done that. And that’s the problem that I have. It’s not my ideology that’s going to represent the 9th District in Congress, it’s the will of the people. And so, what I believe personally has absolutely no bounds on how I’m going to legislate. I mean, that’s not what I’m bringing to the table here.
Taylor Popielarz: Two more questions, if you’ll allow me real quick. There’s been a lot of reporting from various Democratic media organizations and also regular news organizations that you, in the past, have on social media supported the QAnon conspiracy. I know you’ve been asked about it before. You said you’ve had no association with it; you don’t support it. For voters who may see those reports, and they see the hashtags that you used, times that you wore a shirt with a Q on it and they say, well how is that not supportive? What’s your answer?
J.R. Majewski: I would say that I’ve very rarely ever gotten a question about that. The only time I get a question about that, it’s from the mainstream media, what I would call it. Voters in Ohio’s 9th District don’t care about QAnon. They don’t care about January 6th. They care about high gas prices. They care about concerns of whether or not they’re going to be able to heat their homes this winter. They care about what the Biden administration has done with our military troops in Afghanistan. They care about the fact that Marcy Kaptur votes consistently with her party and against the constituents. And, you know, since I haven’t had that question, I don’t feel compelled – that it’s relevant, I mean, to be honest with you. What I did as a private citizen has absolutely no bearing. You know, I’ve already given multiple answers on, you know, the fact that I don’t support QAnon. I’ve never been to their forum. I know there was a podcast I was on, which they picked the screen up, but I don’t know anything about it.
Taylor Popielarz: And then lastly, you’ve mentioned a lot in this interview about how Marcy Kaptur has been in Congress for 40 years.
J.R. Majewski: Yeah.
Taylor Popielarz: I just spoke with her. She argues that that experience is what makes her valuable. It’s gained her seniority on Capitol Hill. She holds the gavel of a subcommittee. She’s had to spend decades, sometimes, working on certain projects that she says have directly benefited the district. And she argues, you’re not going to be able to, you know, get that same impact starting from scratch as a junior member. So to constituents who argue and say, OK, maybe that’s seniority is valuable. What’s your counter for that?
J.R. Majewski: The constituents don’t see that as value because Marcy has been ineffective. 40 years in office, and Toledo is filled with blight. 40 years in office, and Marcy has done more in the past five weeks now that she knows she’s going to lose in November. And look, you can’t bring plastic checks to the district the last day of the election cycle and expect to get accolades for what you’ve done over a 40-year career. She’s voted 100% in alignment with Democrats that are destroying the country, and the people of the 9th District know it. What Marcy claims to have done is a direct fabrication. I mean, she’s actually gone as far as saying that I’ve tried to stop energy jobs. I mean, I don’t know how I would do that, given the fact that I wasn’t able to vote. And, you know, Marcy is, I mean, she’s directly voting with the people that are stopping the hardworking people here in the 9th District from buying groceries and paying for gas that’s so extremely expensive. So, I don’t have a response that adds credibility because Marcy’s—I don’t have a response because Marcy’s claims don’t have any credibility with me.
Taylor Popielarz: Alright, we covered a lot. I really appreciate it.
J.R. Majewski: Alright, thanks, man.