Geauga Dems Chairwoman Snags ODCCA Presidency
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Geauga County's own Janet Carson, chairwoman of the Geauga County Democratic Party, will be at the helm of the Ohio Democratic County Chairs Association for the next two years.
Carson, who was elected president during the ODCCA January meeting last Wednesday, said she was encouraged to run for the seat from other party chairs around the state, but her election was not assured.
"I think most of the larger counties didn't feel that a smaller, red, rural county chair could be elected to be the president of the association," Carson said Tuesday afternoon. "I?am honored and humbled by the responsibility and the confidence that my peers have placed upon me. I am excited about the tasks and the goals that are going to be set forth."
Carson, who said in her campaign she was committed to increase the Democratic vote percentage in all of Ohio's counties, has hit the ground running.
"Ever since the election on Wednesday, I've been in meetings with potential candidates for statewide office, other progressives and activists across the state and I've received a lot of support and really am excited about the process of being involved on a higher level in statewide politics in Ohio," Carson said. "I've been listening to other chairs, listening to other people in other parts of the state, other constituencies to see what they think is important."
She added, "It's really been a lot of fun."
Carson said by studying the best practices used successfully in red and blue, large and small, urban and rural counties, the ODCCA can turn out more Democrats and win statewide.
"I want to bring these best practices to the ODCCA so we can all improve our numbers," she said, adding as vice chair of the Northeast Ohio Democratic Chairs Association, she has learned more about the election process in large Democratic counties.
"Our coalition has benefited the smaller nearby counties by sharing surrogates, sample ballot formats and large quantity campaign sign purchases," she said. "I want to help make the ODCCA a more transparent and invigorated group with open discussions of the (Ohio Democratic Party) assessment process, a more active role in the 2014 elections, electing more local candidates to expand the Democratic farm team, increasing voter turnout and building a stronger infrastructure in every county."
Carson is also excited to attend the inauguration and presidential ball.
"It's an opportunity for a woman and for a rural red county chair to present a different dynamic and present a different perspective in Columbus and across the state," she said. "It gives us a voice, women in red counties. Our challenges are different than ... those blue counties."
Other officers elected were Dalla Hurt of Brown County as 1st vice chairman, Don Traxler of Hardin County as 2nd vice chairman, Ann Reno of Clinton County as secretary and Amy Grugge of Erie County as treasurer.
Dave Fisher of Miami County was elected the sergeant at arms.
"Our county parties help develop new leaders who will serve as the future of our state Democratic leadership," said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern in a statement. "The Ohio Democratic County Chairs Association serves an instrumental role in our efforts to hold Governor John Kasich accountable for his attacks on working class Ohioans, and I'm certain President Carson, along with Don, Ann, Amy and Dave will serve our county parties well."
The new slate of officers -- who will serve from 2013 to 2015 -- will be serving through the 2014 Gubernatorial statewide election cycle.
The ODCCA will be "instrumental in turning out Democratic voters in all of Ohio's 88 counties when all statewide offices will be on the ballot," Carson said.