MEET MIKE

     Mike Larsen is uniquely qualified to serve us in Congress. He’s run a business, been a rank-and-file member of four unions, was a senior staffer in a congressional office, collaborated with some of the biggest names in American government and entertainment, and has strong relationships with voters and leaders in all 14 counties of Ohio’s 4th Congressional District.

     Mike and his wife, Tina, raise their teenage daughter in Plain City, Ohio, after meeting in 2001 on the Hollywood set of a hit television show. Both had moved there to pursue dreams - Mike as a writer and Tina as an actor. - and both forged successful careers in the highly competitive entertainment industry. Mike wrote and/or produced many iconic television series, such as The Drew Carey Show, Ellen, Reba, Real Time with Bill Maher among others. He received Emmy and Writers Guild Award nominations for Outstanding Writing and was known throughout the industry as a tireless mentor and booster of young writers. He has always generously shared his talents, including volunteering with incarcerated writers at San Quentin State Prison, and collaborating with survivors of military sexual assault to help them tell their difficult stories in congressional testimony. The ultimate success, though, was when Mike and Tina were able to keep their promise to each other and return to Ohio to raise their family. 

     Mike served as Communications Director and Advisor to Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier in her Washington, DC office. There, he worked on the Affordable Care Act, banking reform, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, expanding broadband to rural communities, helping save the American auto industry, and comprehensive immigration reform. Speaker Pelosi asked Mike and a colleague to train other Democratic offices on the Job Hunters Boot Camp, a program they created at the depths of the 2009 recession to help jobless constituents learn new career skills.

     In 2018, Mike joined the campaign of Janet Garrett, the Democratic candidate for the seat he is now pursuing. As her Communications Director, he successfully booked the retired teacher on numerous national media outlets, including CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, and Syrius XM. A video series he wrote and produced featuring a puppet version of the incumbent congressman was named by Daily Kos as one of The Best Progressive Ads of 2018 and vastly boosted the campaign’s fundraising and social media attention.

     Having helped run a congressional campaign in our sprawling, 14-county district, Mike knows the needs of communities as diverse as Shelby County grain farmers, urban Lima business owners, and retired autoworkers on the banks of Lake Erie. His fresh, authentic take on politics and government breaks through the stale, left/right paradigms and offers real hope and solutions. He talks to farmers about expanding to new cash crops that aren’t subject to the uncertainty of trade wars and tariffs. As a small town parent in a rural county, he shares the concern about local healthcare options disappearing. And Mike’s life as a rank-and-file member of four unions - joining his first at age 14 - puts him on equal footing with the older, blue collar Ohio voters who left our party to support Donald Trump in 2016 and are looking for a reason to come back.

     Most importantly, Mike knows how Congress works, and has seen what happens when it doesn’t. He rejects the toxic partisanship of career politicians who pay more attention to the nearest microphone than their constituents. Mike credits the nuns at St. Roberts School for instilling in him a sense of mission to always work toward improving the world. “They taught us there’s no neutral in life. If you’re not working for good, you’re working for evil. If you’re not lifting people up, you’re tearing them down.”

     Ohio has had enough of politicians who only talk. We deserve a congressperson who listens, and works as hard for Ohioans as we do for our families.