State Dems won’t endorse for governor

DEAR EDITOR:

As chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, I couldn’t agree more with the headline of your Feb. 16 editorial: “Allow voters, not political parties, to pick nominees.” Unfortunately, the rest of the piece did a real disservice to your readers by distorting the truth and leaving out some key facts.

First of all, the Ohio Democratic Party has been committed to an open and transparent primary process, and we have not endorsed and have no plans to endorse in the 2018 governor’s race. We have already held three debates — in Martins Ferry, Columbus and Cleveland — and we will be holding several more. We invite Democratic primary voters to watch these debates and make their own choice amongst the wide-open field of candidates.

Contrast that with the fact that earlier this month the Ohio Republican Party voted to put their collective thumb on the scales and endorse Mike DeWine — despite an entire year of assurances by the party’s chair that the GOP would remain neutral. At this time there are no Republican primary debates scheduled, likely because DeWine is petrified of actually having to defend his anemic record.

In short, there’s really no comparison between how Ohio Republicans have handled their primary — by anointing Mike DeWine and offering no opportunities for voters to learn more about their candidates — and how Ohio Democrats have proceeded. That’s because we’re ready to talk about our vision of Ohio’s future, while Republicans are hiding and hoping no one notices they’ve been running Columbus while the opioid crisis has exploded, for-profit charter schools have cheated taxpayers out of millions and our job growth rate has trailed the national average for 61 straight months.

DAVID PEPPER

Chairman

Ohio Democratic Party

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