Valoria Hoover is a Republican lawyer from Dublin, Ohio who desperately wants to be a judge. And this year might be her big break, assuming she can continue to pull off the scam she’s been running for the past few months: pretending to be a Democrat.
In 2012, Ms. Hoover ran a very unsuccessful campaign against now-Judge Kim Brown for the Court of Common Pleas in Franklin County. Brown received 67% of the vote, and spent the months leading up to the election aggressively campaigning. You couldn’t attend a parade or event, or drink at a hipster coffee shop downtown that summer without seeing some sign of Brown and her team. Meanwhile, Hoover was busy illegally littering public property with her signs while fighting for the endorsement of the Franklin County Republican Party. The latter task required recommendation letters from some top tier Republican talent.
Former (Republican) Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery wrote a letter recommending Hoover to the committee making the endorsements. So did (Republican) State Representative Cheryl Grossman. But the most intense and revealing recommendation letter came from Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder (Republican) who wrote that Valoria, above all else, “has been and remains a steadfast and loyal Republican.”
From Batchelder’s letter:
In addition to her legal experience, Val has also campaigned for Republicans for years. She has been a volunteer, contributor, fundraising host, finance committee member and a judicial campaign manager. In addition to being the deputy treasurer for Cook for the Ohio Supreme Court campaign in 1994, Val was the campaign manager for Ninth District Court of Appeals Judge Bill Baird’s last election in 1998. She also served on the Cuyahoga County Republican Party’s Finance Committee. She has also raised money for Cheryl Grossman, Judge Judi French, Judge- elect Jim O’Grady, Jim Petro, Betty Montgomery, Governor Kasich and numerous other statewide candidates.
Yes, you read that correctly. Batchelder’s letter listed Hoover’s two other Republican endorsers (Montgomery and Grossman) as candidates for whom Ms. Hoover helped raised campaign cash. The letter also lists John Kasich. In addition to help fundraise for Kasich, Ms. Hoover has personally given him over $11,o00 in campaign contributions!
In 2012, Valoria Hoover fought tooth and nail for the endorsement of the Franklin County Republican Party and, even with the help of Batchelder and other Republicans, she lost in a landslide in Dem-leaning Franklin County.
This year? She has changed her strategy. This year she is hiding her long history with the Ohio Republican Party and campaigning as though she is a Democrat. And in a race like this, where the party of the candidate does not appear on the ballot, that could actually be a winning strategy. Which is why it is very important every voter in Franklin County understands that Val Hoover is not Democrat!
According to a blog post by Elizabeth Lessner, Hoover marched in this year’s Columbus Pride parade with her campaign and attended this year’s Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Dinner. (HRC is the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization.) But, as Lessner points out, Hoover previously told an audience in Dublin that she opposed same sex marriage.
Hoover is also distributing campaign literature featuring a list of endorsements from unions that typically endorse Democrats. That same literature (pictured below) lacks any mention of her party affiliation or the fact that she’s the endorsed Republican in the race. The mailer also features a photo of Ms. Hoover posing with an African American student and the endorsement of a mysterious, Democratic-sounding group named the Coalition of Concerned Black Citizens. Very little information is available about the group,but it appears they only endorse anti-abortion Republicans. Which makes sense given that the group’s former leader, Marketing Specialist John Coats II, left the organization in 2012 to take a job as Executive Director of Ohio Right to Life.
As Valoria (now Val) Hoover proceeds to market herself as a Democrat to Franklin County voters, the Franklin County Republican Party prominently displays Hoover For Judge signs outside of its HQ in downtown Columbus alongside signs for John Kasich, Josh Mandel and Jon Husted.
This year Hoover is running against ACTUAL Democrat William H. Woods for the seat currently held by Daniel T. Hogan.