Ohio state Representative Christina Hagan is not even 30 yet, but she has already set her sights on becoming the Buckeye State’s youngest member of Congress on a Trumpist platform.
Hagan was the youngest person ever seated in the Ohio House of Representatives at 22 when she was appointed to the seat she still holds in 2011. Now she hopes to succeed Republican Rep. Jim Renacci, who is stepping down to run for governor, as the representative for Ohio’s 16th congressional district.
The 28-year-old Hagan is positioning herself as the candidate most closely-aligned with the president in the race. She recently spoke with The Daily Caller on how she lives up to that position.
“I come from the middle class, and I believe that the middle class elected Donald Trump to president,” she told TheDC in a phone interview. “The people in Washington that are there now have not looked out for the best interests of the middle class and lower income Americans. They have absolutely fought for the elite in this country, and as somebody who waited tables for 15 years, when I met President Donald Trump as a candidate, and he took the time to listen to me and discuss issues with me and realize I had a valuable story to tell as a young legislator I knew he wasn’t your average politician.”
“I think we have that in common,” she added, “and we both know and understand the policies, like illegal immigration — just allowing for immigrants to flow over our borders without any merit-based or any type of stringent policy, we know that that is a hindrance to the middle class.”
Immigration is one of the key issues associated with Trump, and Hagan fully supports the White House-backed RAISE Act, which aims to reduce legal immigration and make it more merit-based.
“The RAISE Act is necessary immediately in my opinion. It’s only prudent to reform our legal immigration system and ensure that there is a merit-base for how we’re bringing people into the United States. They should be helping us to contribute to our economy and not displacing middle-class Americans,” the congressional hopeful said.
On the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that Trump has ended and sent to Congress for a legislative solution, Hagan appeared open to the idea of Republicans compromising on but insisted “amnesty is not the solution because people have broken our laws.”
Hagan argues that Congress’s biggest problem is “they are 100% out of touch with the average person. They respond only to the big dollar donors that send them there.”
“The American people sent a message loud and clear that they wanted change. That they wanted the power restored to the people,” she continued. “The same men and women that were sent to get the job done are absolutely falling flat on their faces to help the president accomplish this.”
On foreign policy, Hagan, who was recently endorsed by former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka, strongly echoes the non-interventionist stances the president expressed during the 2016 campaign.
“When we are failing our foster children and we have hundreds of thousands of children in our care at the state because of an opioid epidemic, and we’re spending globally to democratize nations that have no interest in being democratized, we are simply robbing from the people in our country who need us most,” the Republican told TheDC.
As a specific policy, she supports withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan, saying, “There is no reason for us to be sending men and women into this hostile zone any longer.”
The young state representative isn’t the only Republican candidate in the field to be the next congressman of the 16th district. One candidate who is attracting a fair amount of attention is former NFL player Anthony Gonzalez. Gonzalez has attracted the support of powerful players in the Ohio GOP, as well as that of retired football star Peyton Manning and Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam.
Hagan says she isn’t fazed by this challenge, claiming it just bolsters her anti-establishment credentials among the contenders.
“Anthony has ran plays on the field. I have actually fought and debated on behalf of my constituents and the legislature, so I’ve already been up against the establishment, and I’ve been fighting them since day one. So these guys that are getting in the race, they have an idea about Washington being broken, but they’ve never experienced it,” she said.