DELPHOS — Allen County Democrats gathered in Delphos on Tuesday night, hearing from candidates on all levels for races in 2021, 2022 and beyond.
The party faces an uphill battle in the heavily Republican Allen County, but the candidates who spoke talked about why they’re hopeful for the future of the party in Ohio.
Speakers at the event included Jim Jordan challenger Jeff Sites, Elida native and Secretary of State hopeful Chelsea Clark and Lima mayoral candidate Sharetta Smith. The keynote speaker was Ohio Supreme Court Justice Melody Stewart, who is not up for reelection until 2024, but wanted to stress the importance of the next election cycle.
Sites said that his campaign has raised over $800,000 to date, the most for any candidate running against Jordan during his time as Ohio’s 4th Federal District representative.
Clark currently serves on the Forest Park City Council, just outside of Cincinnati. She addressed the topic of voting rights and criticized the push by the state to change voting laws.
“It’s not going to be an easy fight, but it’s going to be a righteous one,” Clark said. “I go across the state day in and day out, and Ohioans are hungry, we’re starving for leadership that’s actually responsive to the people that are voting you into office. So this fight is about breaking down barriers and creating access for every single person in Ohio.”
Recently retired Judge Glenn Derryberry was also recognized at the event. He spoke to emphasize the importance of getting out the vote in local elections.
“I think one thing we’ve learned is these so-called lower level races are critical now,” he said. “I think we didn’t always realize that and understand that, but I think now we certainly understand how important it is to get more people in this room and get more people willing to run for these positions.”
Justice Stewart spoke about what she feels the state needs to do to serve its voters again.
“We still have a state that’s controlled by decisions that are dealing more with politics and power, unfortunately, than education and farming, healthcare, housing, those things that could really make us a terrific state,” Stewart said. “I think we need to hold our elected officials accountable at all levels. Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, hold us accountable. We serve you.”
Reach Trevor Hubert at 567-242-0398