Senate candidate targets budget deficit

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Republican hopeful hopes to pull off primary upset win on May 8

SANDUSKY — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Kiley said it’s time to fix the federal budget deficit, and he’s the person to do it.

“We can’t continue to keep spending money that we don’t have,” Kiley said in a Monday phone interview with the Register. “The issues I’m describing are not necessarily Republican issues or Democratic issues. They are American issues.”

The time to address the budget deficit is now, he said.

“The longer we wait, the bigger and more serious it’s going to be,” he said.

Kiley, 58, who lives in the Cincinnati area, is part of a crowded field of candidates seeking the Republican Senate nomination in the May 8 primary. The other candidates are U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, Melissa Ackison, Mike Gibbons and Don Elijah Eckhart.

Kiley is the founder and chief executive officer of Retirement Corporation of America, an investment advisory firm. If Congress is ever going to address the budget deficit, it needs more financial professionals, he said.

“We need more financial professionals elected to the Senate,” he said. “We’ve never had a certified financial planner elected to the Senate. That just doesn’t make any sense.”

Any serious attempt to bring spending in line with revenues must include dealing with entitlements, not just discretionary spending, Kiley said.

He said his experience helping families make budget decisions would help him make budget cuts while protecting the most vulnerable people in society.

“We have to make sure we are doing it in a way that will work and protect those people who are in the most need,” he said.

Kiley said he has focused on running a positive race and presenting his own ideas rather than attacking his opponents. He did, however, take out an ad congratulating incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown on “30 years of service,” which also made the point that Brown is a career politician.

Kiley said he entered the race late, on Feb. 6, after state treasurer Josh Mandel unexpectedly left the race.

“I knew at the time it was quite a challenge,” he said.

Kiley said he’s better known in the Cincinnati area than in northern Ohio and said he believes his message about reforming the federal budget is getting through to voters.

But he said if he doesn’t win, he’ll continue to find ways to speak out on the budget issue.

“I’ve made a decision for me personally,” he said. “I’m going to continue to go forward to serve.”

Reach reporter Tom Jackson at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @jacksontom.