Ohio Democrats charted wins in local elections across the state Tuesday, building a bench of new public servants and creating momentum for the 2018 cycle, the party announced in a release Wednesday.
The release noted especially wins by young Democratic candidates in school board, council, and trustee races across the state.
“As Democrats had a big night nationally in places like Virginia and New Jersey, here in Ohio we won footholds in traditionally Republican areas like Clinton County and Warren County, turned suburbs purple and reasserted Democratic dominance at the local level in areas that swung to Trump last year,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chair David Pepper. “
New, young Democrats from Ohio Democrats’ Main Street Initiative ran and won all over Ohio, he said.
“For example, three millennial Democrats will be serving on Wilmington City Council next year, and a 26-year-old beat an incumbent to secure the majority of the Fremont City Council,” he said. “In addition, Democratic women led the charge in many of our victories.”
The national narrative has echoes in Ohio, too, Pepper said.
“In Virginia, Ed Gillespie ran a Trump-y campaign focused on fear-mongering and divisions, and it failed,” he said. “Here in Ohio a long-time mayor who switched parties and backed Trump went down in defeat. Meanwhile, the Republicans running for governor are all running hard to the right toward Trump.”
Ohioans want balance, Pepper said, and they want candidates focused on their needs – not pandering to Trump.
The Ohio Democratic Party’s “Main Street Initiative” provides training and support to Democratic candidates running for local office. The program has more than doubled in size from when it launched in 2015.
After Tuesday’s election, Ohio Democrats retained control of 13 out of the state’s 15 largest cities.
“Ohio Democrats are continuing to build a diverse bench of public servants,” the release said. “LGBTQ candidates won in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron and Newark. Carla Baldwin became the first African-American woman elected judge in Youngstown, and two Latina women won races in Cleveland.”