An Earthquake in Ohio Politics

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6 mins read

Dear Friends,

This week started with an earthquake in Ohio politics — Rob Portman announced he wouldn’t be running for re-election next year. Over the past four years, Rob was one of Donald Trump’s biggest defenders and the number one cheerleader for Trump’s tax scam. Portman also voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act over and over again. If Portman wants to complain about the death of civility and the triumph of partisan gridlock, he should take a long, hard look in the mirror.

The 2022 Senate race in Ohio was always going to be a competitive race; now it’s even more competitive. There is going to be an unbelievably messy and nasty GOP primary, while Democrats have a strong bench of potential candidates who can win, who will work for Ohioans and who would be a great partner for Sen. Sherrod Brown.

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At the state party, we are committed to an open and transparent primary process, and we look forward to hearing more from all of the potential statewide candidates.

We also want to hear from you! Over the next few weeks we’ll be convening listening sessions with our stakeholders to get their feedback about what we can do to Build Back Better at the Ohio Democratic Party. Your thoughts and support will be so critical as we move through this transition period.

In solidarity,

Liz

Liz Walters
Chair
Ohio Democratic Party


OHIO DEMS IN THE HEADLINES

Raise the Wage

State Rep. Brigid Kelly and state Sens. Cecil Thomas and Hearcel Craig this week urged fellow lawmakers to sign onto their bill to increase Ohio’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2027.

“We can’t afford to stay stuck in the past with poverty-wage jobs that don’t let Ohioans live up to their full potential,” said Kelly. “Ohio’s minimum wage needs an overhaul to meet the demands of today’s new economy.”

The bill is similar to a Florida ballot measure that passed in Nov. 2020 with more than 60 percent of the statewide vote.

“Far too many Ohioans work multiple jobs and still can’t afford to pay for food, bills and health care,” said Thomas. “That’s shameful, but it’s also something the General Assembly can fix by passing this legislation. We need to make sure workers in Ohio are adequately paid so they can take care of their families.”

A 2019 Policy Matters Ohio report found that increasing Ohio’s minimum wage to $15 would lift wages for some 2 million Ohio workers.

“Raising Ohio’s minimum wage will increase productivity and stimulate consumer spending,” Craig said. “It is very simple: if Ohioans have more money, they will be more likely to spend it. Increasing our state’s minimum wage is not just the right thing to do, it is also a smart investment in our economy.”

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Sen. Sherrod Brown is championing legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour at the federal level, as well.

“For too many people in this country, hard work isn’t paying off,” said Brown. “While costs for Ohio families are rising and workers are more productive than ever, wages aren’t keeping up. It’s long past time that we recognize the value of work in our country, and that’s why I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this legislation and honoring the Dignity of Work.”

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GOP WATCH

Frank LaRose Continues to Purge Ohio Voters

This week the Guardian reported that Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has continued his aggressive voter purges — resulting in nearly 100,000 individuals being removed from the registration rolls last month.

The new report found that more than 10,000 Ohioans who had originally been targeted to be removed from the rolls ended up casting a ballot in the 2020 election. Voting rights groups are sounding the alarm that LaRose’s purges are likely disenfranchising eligible voters.

State Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney noted that LaRose’s purge policies are discretionary, saying, “He is not required by law to do this … State law allows it, it’s not barred. He is choosing to make this a more expansive process.”

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UPCOMING EVENTS

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The people of Ohio deserve a government that supports their hard work and shares their hopes for the future. Our platform represents the Democratic vision for our State, embracing and implementing the dreams of Ohioans. We firmly defend these American beliefs, values, and traditions and are fighting hard every day to elect Democrats who have the experience and ideas to improve our state and who will hold Columbus accountable.

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