Ohio Democratic Party

The Ohio Democratic Party has a new chair. Summit County Council woman Liz Walters was elected last night by the party’s executive committee. 

david pepper
John Minchillo / AP

Rarely is there anything that happens in the Ohio Democratic Party that takes place as smooth as silk.

Take the choice of a new state party chair, which is scheduled to take place when the party's executive committee meets in Columbus on Jan. 14.

After an election where polls showed Democrats would do well in Ohio but largely didn’t, the leader of Ohio’s Democratic Party is resigning. David Pepper says he’ll step down from his post at the end of this year. 

john kasich
Jay LaPrete / AP

The Los Angeles Dodgers waited 32 years between World Series championships before winning one this fall. The Cincinnati Reds are at 30 years and counting.

The Ohio Democratic Party can't wait that long to win some statewide elections.

The Ohio Democratic Party is calling for a halt to the Secretary of State’s pruning of the voter rolls. And it wants an investigation following mistakes in Franklin County where more than a thousand voters have been flagged for removal.

2020 democratic nominees
Clockwise from top left: Charlie Neibergall, AP; Wikimedia Commons; Lorie Shaull, Flickr Creative Commons; PHIL ROEDER, Flickr Creative Commons

The current storyline in the 2020 presidential campaign goes something like this:

Donald Trump and his allies run a campaign demonizing Democrats in general as horrid, lying socialists who hate America with a passion, who wouldn't be caught dead in a cheap foam hat that says Make America Great Again because they want to destroy it.

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Pixabay

I suppose this debate over whether Ohio is a red state, a purple state, or blue state with a very faint pulse is going to go on for quite a while.

The leader of the Ohio Democratic Party is calling out Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted for issuing an order on so-called voter purging just weeks before he leaves office. 

This week’s election underscored some weaknesses for Ohio Democrats. The party’s candidates lost all of the statewide executive offices and gained seats but also lost some in the state House and Senate. This has left many wondering where Democrats in Ohio go from here. 

richard cordray
John Minchillo / AP

Well, which Democratic election night in Ohio would you like to read more about?

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Susan Walsh / AP

So who, besides Brett Kavanaugh and Donald Trump, won this nasty, bitter, ugly mud-wrestling match that was Kavanaugh's narrow confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court?

donald trump
Evan Vucci / AP

If you were in charge of the Ohio Republican Party, would you want President Trump to come back to the Buckeye State again and again before the November election, as he did last Friday night at the Ohio Republican Party's annual dinner in Columbus?

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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday about whether Ohio Democrats have a chance this year to end a long drought in statewide elections; and about Kentucky's primary election on Tuesday. 

The Democratic primary for governor in Ohio could well boil down to where the candidates stand and what kind of record they have on gun control.

It's reasonable to believe  the vast majority of Democratic primary voters, in the wake of cold-blooded murder of 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, are enraged over the easy access to semi-automatic weapons and are solidly behind the nationwide movement of high school students marching and lobbying for gun control.

Issue 1, the proposed redistricting plan, continues to rack up support ahead of its appearance on the May ballot. Although backers are optimistic it will pass, they’re not putting all of their eggs in this election’s basket.

We've sort of become accustomed to candidates meeting in debates and spending as much time ripping into each other as they do talking about their own ideas.

This was not the case last Tuesday night, when the four Democrats running for Ohio governor met on a high school auditorium stage last Tuesday night in Martins Ferry, an Ohio River town in Belmont County.

Jim Nolan/WVXU

The Ohio Democratic Party is waiting to see if either Richard Cordray or Jerry Springer will enter the race for governor. A study finds the Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corporation has not properly maintained many of the 700 properties it owns.

There is hardly a significant campaign for high office that goes by without a fight over debates.

Will we have them? How many will have? Where will they be? What will the ground rules be?

And, in some cases, those questions never get answered – usually because of the intransigence of one candidate or another – and no debate ever happens.

But the 2018 gubernatorial race in Ohio will most certainly have debates.

In fact, there is one already scheduled.

For a guy who refuses to talk about the subject, former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray has nearly everybody in Ohio Democratic Party politics expecting him to jump into the 2018 race for governor.

We've always thought Cordray had some extraordinary politics skills, but to create the kind of buzz we have seen in the past week while steadfastly refusing to talk about it is quite a neat trick.

It's not as if the Democrats don't already have some credible candidates for governor in the 2018.

If you are a baseball hitter and you have a game where you go 0-4 – no base hits in four at-bats – you're not a happy camper.

But you are not totally despondent. In baseball, there is usually a game tomorrow and you have a chance to go 4-4.

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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the 2018 statewide elections in Ohio; and whether or not Ohio Democrats can stop the Republicans' march toward making Ohio a totally red state. 

"Leans Republican."

That's the category where Ohio's already-churning 2018 gubernatorial race  is placed by Sabato's Crystal Ball, a highly-respected weekly politics newsletter published by director Larry J. Sabato of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the growing number of Democratic candidates for Ohio governor; and how both the Republicans and Democrats are likely to have lively primary battles for governor in 2018 

About a month ago, David Pepper, the Ohio Democratic Party chairman, was more than a bit concerned.

Back then, he had no announced candidates for Ohio governor in 2018, while some rather well-known and well-funded Republicans were gearing up for a fight.

"The time to start organizing campaigns is now,'' Pepper told WVXU in February. "There is no time for exploratory committees and thinking about it. It is time to get on with it."

Well, ask and ye shall receive.

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WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about why, in early 2017, the 2018 Ohio governor's race appears to be ramping up. The main reason: It's an open seat: incumbent John Kasich can't run again. 

The Ohio Republican Party, which has done quite well in statewide elections over the past decade or so, has a nice, neat little bunch of politicians just itching to run for governor next year.

Four of them. Attorney General Mike DeWine. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci of Wadsworth, in Medina County and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who filed paperwork with Husted's office on Thursday so she can start campaigning and, most importantly, raising money.

Red, blue or purple.

Those are the three choices on the political spectrum for a city, a county, or a state.

Ohio voters will pick their favorite color in 2018, the next round of statewide elections, in every office from governor and U.S. senator on down.

And how they choose might determine whether the pendulum swings back from red to blue, or at least, purple, in a state where all the statewide constitutional officeholders are Republican and where Donald Trump stunned Ohio Democrats in November by winning Ohio's 18 electoral votes by a sizeable margin.

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The last three election cycles have been miserable for Democrats in Ohio. Hillary Clinton failed to win the state this year, and, in 2014 and 2010, the Democrats were completely shut of all of Ohio's statewide constitutional offices. Can they make a comeback in 2018's mid-term election? WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Jay Hanselman about it on Morning Edition Monday. 

There’s an old saw that says the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Some people are applying that to the Ohio Democratic Party executive committee’s decision a week ago to endorse former governor Ted Strickland over Cincinnati city council member P.G. Sittenfeld in the 2016 Democratic primary for Republican incumbent Rob Portman’s U.S. Senate seat.

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If there was one word to describe Ohio Party Chairman Chris Redfern on Election night, it would be “angry.”

Redfern lambasted Statehouse reporters and the newspapers that employ them for pulling web versions of stories and videos that were not flattering to Republicans. And he lashed out for what he saw as a media obsession on the bombshell revelation that came out around Labor Day that Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald had been driving for most of a decade without a valid driver’s license.

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