Had Enough?

We know that the Republicans, who have a super-majority in both houses of the Ohio General Assembly, have nothing but disdain for Ohioans. We saw that in the August 8, 2023 special election on the old Issue 1.[1]

The old Issue 1 was meant to make it virtually impossible for Ohioans to amend their state constitution. Although the General Assembly outlawed almost all August special elections early in 2023, the Republicans called an August special election on old Issue 1, thinking that most Ohioans would not show up to vote on stripping themselves of legal rights.

We saw it, and continue to see it, in House Bill 6, which remains in effect although it has been proved to have been the product of bribery. Every Ohioan who gets an electric bill pays a surcharge every month to support, among other things, a coal-fired power plant in Indiana just because Ohio Republicans want to make good on the promises Larry Householder gave in return for a huge sum of money. Are you disgusted? You should be.

Yes, our Republican-dominated General Assembly is disgusting, but what can we do? There is an answer to that question.  The answer is to run for the General Assembly. All 99 seats in the Ohio House of Representatives will be up for election next year, including the two seats from Clermont County. Also, the seat for the 14th Ohio Senate district, which includes Clermont County, is up for election in 2024. All three seats are currently held by right wing Republicans.

Although the General Assembly districts are supposed to be redrawn for 2024, it is highly unlikely that the Republicans who control that process will make any significant changes to the Clermont County districts.

There are two Ohio House of Representative districts in Clermont County. The 62nd district covers the Clermont County portion of Loveland, Milford, and Miami, Union, Goshen, and Stonelick Townships. The seat is currently held by Republican Jean Schmidt, a Householder protégé, who has been holding one or another government office and drawing a paycheck from the taxpayers for decades. The 63rd district includes the rest of Clermont County and the western half of Brown County. The seat is currently held by Republican Adam Bird. The 14th Senate district covers the four counties of Clermont, Brown, Adams, and Scioto. The seat is currently held by Republican Terry Johnson. All three are considered “safe” Republican seats, meaning that our state representatives and state senator are much more concerned with advancing the extremist far-right agenda of the current Ohio Republican Party than they are about representing all the people in their districts.

What does it take to challenge one of these people? You must run for the office. What does it take to do that? First, you must run in the March 2024 Democratic primary election to become the Democratic nominee for the office on the November 2024 general election ballot.

What does it take to be on the March 2024 primary election ballot? First, you must currently live in the district, you must have lived in the district for the year preceding the November 7, 2023 election, and you must be a registered voter. You must also complete an Ohio Secretary of State Form 2 F and obtain signatures on that form from 50 registered voters who are either registered Democrats or whose voter registration does not show an affiliation with any political party, people commonly known as independents or “NPs” (for “no party”). The completed form 2 F with at least 50 valid signatures must be filed with the Clermont County Board of Elections by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 20, 2023. In other words, there is not a ton of time.

Why run? One answer is that, if you win, you have what is supposed to be a part-time job with a base salary of $ 69,876.00.  More important, if you win, you help erode the Republican super-majority in the General Assembly. Most important, win or lose, giving our incumbent Republican state legislators serious competition should do two things: (1) Force them to focus more on the needs of the people in their districts than on the national extreme right-wing agenda. (2)  Show the voters in our county that there is an alternative to one-party rule.

Giving voters a serious alternative to Ms. Schmidt, Mr. Bird, and Mr. Johnson will make at least some voters ask what these people have done for us and why we should keep them in the General Assembly? Giving those questions any thought at all produces obvious answers: they have done nothing, and we should not keep them in the General Assembly.

Do you want to do something for Clermont County? Step up and run for the General Assembly. Just remember you must file your petitions by December 20, 2023.

Here are a couple of resources to learn what entails running for office.

Run For Something

Thinking about running for local office? We want to talk to you. We don’t care about your resume: if you’re progressive and you care about improving your local community, we want to help you run.

So You Think You Want To Run

What You’ll Learn

  • How to decide whether you want to run for office, what you want to run for, and when
  • How to use NDTC’s online candidate trainings to build your skills as a candidate and run a winning campaign

[1] This should not be confused with the Reproductive Freedom Amendment which will appear on the November 7, 2023 general election ballot as Issue 1. The November Issue 1 is on the ballot despite Republicans efforts to deny Ohioans a vote on it.