You may have noticed that our newsletter missed its regular bi-weekly schedule. That is because there has been a change in who produces our newsletter. Producing the newsletter is a huge task and is done by volunteers. No one can do that task indefinitely. The Clermont County Democratic Party is deeply grateful to Cheryl Richards of Moscow who produced our newsletter for several years. We are also very grateful to Jennifer Ginder of Loveland who is taking over production of the newsletter. The newsletter was, and remains, in very talented hands.
It sounds like hyperbole, but the 2024 elections really are about preserving democracy in America and in Ohio. One prominent presidential candidate has already declared his intention to be a “dictator” as soon as he is sworn in. The far right in our General Assembly continues to plot ways to override the will of the voters expressed in last November’s election on both reproductive freedom and marijuana. Who we elect in 2024 will determine whether we abandon 235 years of representative democracy and the rule of law.
The election process starts with the primary elections on March 19, 2024. In the main, the primary election allows voters in each party to choose their party’s candidates for the general election in November. However, on our side, the primary election is the election of members to our Clermont County Democratic Party Central Committee. There is a seat on the Central Committee for a person from each voting precinct in Clermont County. We have 57 people whose names will appear on the Democratic ballot in their precinct for Central Committee, and we have one write-in candidate. None of these races are contested, but every Central Committee candidate needs at least one vote. Each of the people running for Central Committee is worthy of your vote. Please vote for our Central Committee candidate if one is running in your precinct.
As I said, the aspect of the primary election most people will focus on is the selection of candidates for the November general election. There are too many offices on the ballot to discuss all at once. I do want to highlight one primary candidate in particular. Elizabeth Jones is running as a write-in candidate for Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas. This is an open office because the Republican incumbent is not a candidate this year. While Ms. Jones is our only candidate for Clerk, she needs a certain number of votes for her name to appear on the ballot in November. If we do not give her at least that minimum number of votes, the one Republican running will be unopposed and will win the Clerk’s job. Please write-in Elizabeth Jones for Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas on your Democratic primary ballot.
Technically, we have three contested Democratic primary races. A candidate has been certified by the Secretary of State in the Democratic presidential primary in addition to President Biden. I see no chance that this candidate can defeat President Biden.
One genuinely contested Democratic primary is for the U.S. House of Representatives from the Second District of Ohio. The incumbent Republican is not running for another term, making this an open seat. The Second is a geographically huge district, stretching from Clermont County in the west to Meigs County in the east and from Lawrence County in the south to Pickaway County in the north. Fifteen counties are in the district. The two Democrats seeking to be the candidate for this seat in November are Samantha Meadows of Chillicothe and Joe Wessels of Loveland. Samantha Meadows has been endorsed in this race by the Ohio Democratic Party.
The Republican primary race for the Second District is also interesting. Since people think it is a sure win for the Republican in November, people have come out of the woodwork to run for the Republican nomination. There are eleven candidates plus one more person who is suing, likely unsuccessfully, to add his name to the ballot in this race. Almost all of the candidates are priding themselves on unquestioning fealty to donald trump. (Initial capital letters are a sign of respect, which is why I never use them when writing that man’s name). Some Democrats in Hamilton County who know him have told me that Phil Heimlich is not a trumper and that his stated ambition is to be the Liz Cheney of the Ohio Second District. That tells me a lot. While Ms. Cheney has rightly been lauded for her opposition to trump and her work on the House Select Committee on the January 6, 2021 insurrection, Ms. Cheney is still very far right. I do not think Democrats should cross over and vote in the Republican primary. Would you really want to be listed as a Republican in the public voter records? That said, if you know any reasonable Republicans, encourage them to vote for Phil Heimlich for Congress in their primary election on March 19.
I will have more of my thoughts about the primary election in subsequent newsletters. Be safe.