After four very dark years, light shines in America again.  Joseph R. Biden, Jr. is now President of the United States and Kamala D. Harris is now Vice President. A new light has been lit in Ohio as well.  On January 14, 2021, our State Executive Committee elected Elizabeth Walters as Ohio Democratic Party Chair. Ms. Walters is the first woman to be elected ODP Chair. These new lights illuminate the challenges before us.

We are challenged to have realistic expectations.  We will find fault with things President Biden does or fails to do. We are Democrats. We criticize each other at least as vigorously as we criticize the right. We must remember that, whatever its shortcomings, the Biden/Harris Administration is vastly preferable to what went before.

We are challenged by our State. Ohio has seven or so urban counties where Democrats are doing well, and about 80 counties, including ours, where they are not. Before other goals can be achieved, Ohio Democrats must persuade voters in Felicity, Owensville, and Goshen as well as those in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus.

We are challenged to maintain our energy. Our job is not done because the darkness which was in the White House is now gone.  Rob Portman is still a U.S. Senator.  Brad Wenstrup is still “our” Congressman. Republicans hold all state executive offices and dominant majorities in both houses of the General Assembly. Republicans hold all county offices as they have for decades. It was never about just one man. It is about building a nation, a state, and a county which work for everyone regardless of their wealth, race, gender, or origin.

We are challenged to retain our activists and recruit new ones. The former president was so blatantly malicious and corrupt that he drove people to us.  You know the dedication and relentless efforts of our Clermont County Democratic Party activists over the last four years.  We must keep these outstanding women and men involved and add to their number.  We need more people to knock doors, phonebank, and drop literature.  We need more people to donate money.  We need new people to bring us fresh ideas.  We need more good people to run for office as Democrats.  We need these people not just for the sexy offices like U.S. Senator and Congress but also for the offices that impact people’s daily lives like state representative, county commissioner, township trustee, and school board member.

There are other challenges. However, the new lights shining in Washington and Columbus most brightly illuminate our greatest, yet most daunting, challenge. We must make light shine in Clermont County.

Stay Safe.

Raymond W. Lembke

Executive Committee Chair

Clermont County Democratic Party