To: Interested Parties
Fr: Jerid Kurtz, Ohio Democratic Party
Re: A Bad Night for Governor Kasich and Friends
Date: November 5, 2013
The 2013 election can be summed up in five words: “Overwhelming losses for Kasich’s friends.”
While Republicans suffered significant losses nationwide in traditional strongholds like Virginia, Ohio voters also punished the GOP at the local level for their recent attacks on workers, women, and push to shift the tax burden on to the middleclass.
In a statewide wave, voters stripped the Governor and his allies from control of any of Ohio’s ten most populous cities for the first time in nearly five years. The last time Ohio Democrats experienced similar success at the local level was in 2007, foreshadowing historic presidential and statehouse victories a year later.
As we enter the 2014 elections, Kasich is at a distinct disadvantage of strong local leaders in key regions poised to defend his unpopular positions.
TOLEDO: Gov. Kasich’s “buddy” Mayor Mike Bell gets the boot
In 2009, Independent Mike Bell defeated the endorsed Democratic candidate for Mayor. And following the election of John Kasich, Bell gained notoriety for promoting Senate Bill 5 in a statewide television ad.
Two years later, the Lucas County Republican Party rewarded Bell with their endorsement, while Governor Kasich called him “my buddy” and seemingly discouraged potential Republican challengers. Because of the Mayor’s close relationship with John Kasich, Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern stated defeating Mike Bell was the Party’s “top goal” in 2013.
Tonight, Mike Bell lost re-election due to his relationship with Governor Kasich, and his callous support for Senate Bill 5.
CUYAHOGA FALLS: Thirty-year incumbent & Kasich supporter defeated
Nearly thirty years ago, Cuyahoga Falls first sent Don Robart to the mayor’s office. Since then, he’s been an outspoken advocate for the values Governor Kasich holds near and dear.
In his 2009 State of the City Address, Mayor Robart mused about “eliminat[ing] public sector unions”, and two years later he was one of the first elected officials to endorse Senate Bill 5. Mayor Robart unequivocally stated that John Kasich is “the best governor we’ve had in my lifetime!”
In a narrow vote hinging on a margin of approximately 2.6%, Cuyahoga Falls voters sent one of Governor Kasich’s most outspoken supporters packing, replacing him with Councilman Don Walters.
DAYTON: GOP strikes out – twice
Four years ago, the Montgomery County Republican Party endorsed Independent Gary Leitzell in his successful campaign for mayor. Two years later, Leitzell initially refused to reject Senate Bill 5, going so far as to urge compromise on Governor Kasich’s chief legislative proposal.
Despite the GOP’s best effort, Mayor-Elect Whaley won with an overwhelming 12% margin, lending Democrats another powerful voice to articulate the case against Governor Kasich in bellwether Montgomery County.
VICTORIES ACROSS THE BOARD
These 2013 victories are historic.
Not only did Democrats win in all regions of the state – North, South, East and West, but Democrats also won in all parts of the state – urban, suburban, exurban, and rural areas.
For the first in nearly two decades, Democrats took control of Newark City Council, electing four councilpersons in a region that has historically challenged the Party.
Ohioans again rejected the principals of Senate Bill 5 by overwhelmingly defeating Cincinnati Local Issue 4 by 31,497 votes, or a margin of 56.64%. This initiative was crafted by the same masterminds that helped Governor Kasich fashion and sell Senate Bill 5, and would have defunded public pensions and stripped unions of their ability to bargain for members’ retirement security.
Democrats successfully defended Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Steubenville Mayor Domenick Mucci, Jr., Lima Mayor David Berger, and maintained control of the Youngstown and Cincinnati Mayor’s Offices with the elections of John McNally and John Cranley.
OHIO DEMOCRATS PREPARED FOR 2014
In preparation for 2014, the Ohio Democratic Party made substantial investments of time and resources in this year’s local races to put the Governor and his friends on defense, including:
- Sending more than 2,000,000 pieces of mail in support of our candidates and issues.
- Making more than 553,000 voter contact attempts in communities across the state.
The State Party also used the off-cycle election to build our infrastructure in advance of the battles to come.
During this year’s municipal elections, 772 individual users added more than one million data points to the same state-of-the-art Ohio voter file Democrats used last year to defeat Mitt Romney — and will use next year to send John Kasich, Josh Mandel, and the rest of their friends packing.
As Republicans reel from tonight’s losses and take steps to protect Governor Kasich – such as pushing new laws to eliminate third-party ballot access – Democrats are well poised to ride this success into 2014.
Paid for by the Ohio Democratic Party, Chris Redfern, Chairman
340 East Fulton Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215