Tanner Fischbach: The 19 Year Old Who Wants to Shake Up Cuyahoga County Politics

Most teenagers are looking for a job that hopefully pays something over minimum wage. 19 year old Berea resident Tanner Fischbach is campaigning for the top job in Cuyahoga County government. Fischbach said he realized he was a republican, unlike most of his family and friends, when Barack Obama was running against John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. The last six years, his love of the republican party has led him to become a devoted fan of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and now he wants to put some of those principals in place right here in Cuyahoga County.

Running at such a young age has ruffled some feathers in his party. He talked of a little tension between Cuyahoga County Chairman Rob Frost when he was the first candidate to file the paperwork to become a candidate for Cuyahoga County Executive. Fischbach felt that Frost was angered because it would cost the party money fighting a contested primary. Fishbach will face fellow republican Jack Schron in the May primary.

So, what are Fischbach's views and how would he like to change local government. Watch the video or check at the transcript to see if you feel that this 19 year old could be holding one of the top political jobs in the state of Ohio even before he is legally to drink a beer to celebrate the occasion.

We sat down with Fischbach at his fund raiser last night. Here is a video and a transcript of what he had to say about his candidacy.

Eugene McCormick - Okay, we are here with Tanner Fischbach at Aces Bar and Grill Middleburg Heights. What can you tell us about how your campaign started and I what you want to for Cuyahoga County?

Tanner Fischbach - We started in October. I was the first republican candidate to announce. We started in October. I was the first republican candidate. And people go you know why are you running in Cuyahoga County? A blue county? You know, I said listen, I'm here to make change. We need a new, fresh, mind in office. Someone who doesn't have the corruption of Jimmy Dimora or Frank Russo.

EM - You are nineteen years old most these people the politicians have been politicians for more than 19 years.

TF - A lot of people, you know, have been politicians for more than 19 years or even longer than I have been living. Here again, the burden is already on my generation and they have been doing the same tactics that haven't been working. It hasn't been working for the past 19 years. We need to make sure that my generation comes back to Cleveland where jobs need to be at so we are not going to become the next Detroit.

We need private sector jobs in Cleveland and what they are doing is destroying private sector jobs in Cuyahoga County. They've been using the same plans. Everything has been the same. The next four years we need to change it up. We need to talk to company's and bring jobs to Cleveland.

EM - One issue that is a hotbed issue right now is the Sin Tax. How would you approach an issue like that?

TF - With the Sin Tax here it is. I don't support it. I think it should be abolished. But, what the past politicians did to us in the past we have to pass it no matter what because if we don't pass it will go to the burdens of our general funds. If we go into the general funds we would have to eliminate more public sector workers, roadwork, or any service for Cuyahoga County. So, I feel we have to pass it. But I don't support it but we need to pass it.

EM - What qualifications do you have at such a young age?

TF - You know, people love that question. I don't have qualifications with the public workers, I have qualifications with the normal tax payers. I've been with my same job for the last six years. I talk to the people on the streets as a regular tax payer. All my friends and family are democrats. I hear what they have to say. Your qualifications on a piece of paper that you spent $100,000 isn't helping Cuyahoga County.

EM - Now, already, as illustrated in today's PD people want to deride you for your age. How do you comment to that?

TF - I think they are scared and don't want to try something new. especially with a young person such as myself who hasn't experienced "the real world" as they say. We need to realize that the same old politicians, like Russo and Dimora, who have been stealing from the county (sarcastically saying) "they are much better than a young kid. My age doesn't matter to this. It has nothing to do with qualifications or running for office.