Next Chapter For Ohio Democrats

Dec 3, 2020

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, host Mike Thompson discusses the state of the Ohio Democratic Party in light of an upcoming leadership change. Outgoing party chair David Pepper joins the show.

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In this week's episode:

Red State, Blue Party

The Ohio Democratic Party is looking for a new leader. David Pepper – who has led the party since 2015 – is stepping down, announcing this week he will leave his post at the end of the year. Pepper became chairman after the 2014 election, where Gov. John Kasich rolled to victory over Democrat Ed Fitzgerald and Pepper lost the Attorney General race to now-Gov. Mike DeWine.

Since then, Democrats have done little better. Former Gov. Ted Strickland lost badly to Sen. Rob Portman in 2016, but Sen. Sherrod Brown won reelection in 2018. Democrats have picked up three seats on the Ohio Supreme Court, but Republicans continued their hold on all other statewide offices. And, of course, Donald Trump easily won Ohio in both 2016 and last month.

Democrats dominate in Ohio cities and they are doing better in the suburbs, but get absolutely trounced in rural areas. They're also losing ground in working-class counties such as Mahoning and Trumbull Counties.

Snollygoster Of The Week

Four members of the Ohio House –  John Becker, Candice Keller, and Paul Zeltwanger of the Cincinnati area and Nino Vitale of Urbana – have filed articles of impeachment against Gov. M ike DeWine for his orders during the pandemic.

This is their second attempt to impeach the governor, but this time, COVID-19 cases are exploding and hospitals are filling up rapidly.

Send questions and comments to snollygoster@wosu.org.