Candidate shoots the breeze, and everything else
Barrett J. Brunsman, the Enquirer’s Clermont County reporter, filed the following from Batavia:
Archie Wilson hopes voters in Tuesday’s Republican primary realize he’s uniquely qualified to unseat Clermont County Commissioner Mary Walker – and the ardent supporter of our constitutional right to keep and bear arms insists he isn’t just popping off.
"I’m a big-game hunter," Wilson says. "That’s my hobby. I’ve killed the big five. I’ve killed the lion, the leopard, the cape buffalo, the rhino and the elephant.
"So I’m not afraid to take on whatever I got to take on in March," says Wilson, 56.
A Batavia Township trustee, Wilson will compete for votes with Walker (a former Union Township trustee) as well as Miami Township Trustee Ed Humphrey and former Bethel Councilman Melvin A. Dean.
What sets Wilson apart, he says, is that voters can depend on him to clean up "the mess" in Clermont County.
That’s not just because of his background as a plumber, Wilson says, but also because he knows how to draw a bead on unethical behavior.
"If we don’t have the right ethics, we have nothing," Wilson says.
All three of the men view Walker as vulnerable because the Ohio Ethics Commission is investigating her in the wake of her vote for a $58,500 county contract for an engineering company run by her son, Mark Walker.
Wilson says nobody would get away with something like that if he were elected to the Board of County Commissioners.
"I know how to pull out a big gun If I have to," Wilson says. "You know what I mean?"
A 1969 graduate of Amelia High School, Wilson has experience managing multimillion-dollar budgets as both a Batavia Township trustee and a partner in Midwestern Plumbing Service.
"I’m still just a common man," Wilson says. "I’m just a poor country boy, (but) I run a tight budget."
However, it will also take courage to remedy what’s wrong with Clermont County, Wilson says.
"I’m about change," Wilson says. "That scares some people.
"I’ve spent time all over the world (hunting dangerous animals), and I’m not afraid," Wilson says.
"That’s my passion – because my heroes were people who hunted in Kentucky, like Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, and it’s just my heritage," says Wilson, a native of Harlan County, Ky.