By Rev. Donald L. Perryman, Ph.D.
The Truth Contributor
Win or lose, we win by raising the issues. – Charlotta Bass
In a marathon race, your strategy can be to hang back and kick to overtake the leaders at the end. Or you can, in the words of NYC Marathon legend Alberto Salazar, gut it out, “push, challenge the others, and risk everything,” including losing.
Ultimately though, marathon running is about being in contention over the last quarter of the race. That’s when the going gets toughest, causing many marathoners to hit the proverbial “wall.”
The Ohio Midterm Election is less than two months away, and early voting begins on October 12. As a result, local candidates have started to pick up the pace preparing for their finishing kick in this highly consequential electoral phenomenon.
Democracy is at stake, and therefore the grueling campaign will ultimately test the candidates’ determination, endurance, conditioning, and technique.
Here are my updates on a few crucial races:
The political outlook is rosier for the Democrats and Tim Ryan than we thought on January 1. J.D. Vance, Ryan’s Trump-supported opponent, decided to hold a lightly attended rally last week in Youngstown during the Ohio State football game against Toledo.
Not only is Youngstown Ryan’s hometown, but Mahoning County went for Trump in 2020, possibly supporting the Republicans for the first time, maybe going back to President Abraham Lincoln.
While Trump may remain visible, Ryan is not as vulnerable as others to his blue-collar grievance strategy.
Polling indicates that the race is very close. However, Trump and his base supporters traditionally are under-polled and turn out better than expected in major elections.
Yet Tim Ryan is a quality candidate who continues to show grit. Like Sherrod Brown, he has a great message that’s connected, focuses purely on economics, avoids culture wars and he plays the China card well.
U.S. House of Representatives
In Ohio’s 9th Congressional District, Marcy Kaptur is running the race of her life but will be fine. Her opponent, J. R. Majewski, has portrayed the longest-serving congresswoman in D. C. as an antiquated politician whose time has passed.
Kaptur has responded by investing heavily in a hard-hitting television media blitz that depicts Majewski as an assault-weapon toting radical who brought January 6 protesters to the capital.
At the end of one of Kaptur’s commercials, an African American sheriff’s deputy from Lucas County emphatically utters concerning Majewski, “There’s something wrong with that guy!”
It is unknown if the Republican Party will financially support Majewski or if he can attract regular donors. However, Marcy’s message is clear, forceful, and has some value.
Ohio Supreme Court
The Ohio Supreme Court races are probably the most crucial of all the midterm contests because of the potential generational impact on redistricting and abortion.
Unlike two years ago, party affiliation will be shown next to the candidate names on the ballot and designed to keep voters from electing Democratic judicial candidates like Jennifer Brunner and Terri Jamison.
Brunner is running against Republican Sharon Kennedy for Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice. Both are incumbents and cannot retain their general seats. So, Ohio Governor Mike Dewine is looking hard at longtime jurist Gene Zmuda to fill the resulting vacancy.
Influential in Toledo-area politics, Zmuda is a self-described “urban Republican” and has always been “aligned with common sense and a fair balance.” Therefore, many consider this a positive move if the appointment occurs.
Elgin Rogers is running an exceptional campaign. Any politician who keeps to their roots yet receives simultaneous endorsements from adversaries like the Farm Bureau and the Ohio Environmental Council has a message for people across the entire political spectrum.
Ericka White is another outstanding candidate who is running the race well. White is energetic, charismatic, tireless, and has a compelling message of empowerment for people and women. If anyone has a chance to defeat Republican Derek Merrin in this highly competitive Ohio House district, it is White.
Michele Grim remains steady in her dedication to what she believes in and is also running a tireless race. The fascinating intrigue will occur when Grim wins her race for the Ohio Legislature. What will the Lucas County Dems do to replace her on Toledo City Council? Several candidates will be interested in that seat. Yet, look for Matt Cherry to move over to take her at-large seat, creating an opening for someone to succeed him from Toledo District 2’s deep bench.
The struggling Democratic runner I see is Nancy Larson competing against Josh Williams, a Black Republican and attorney.
Larson has not run a savvy race thus far. Instead, she has stumbled several times. Most recently, Larson called Project Labor Agreements corrupt, a not-so-subtle slap at collective bargaining, labor unions and trade association, and the community.
Larson also wants to debate her opponent on television. That might not be smart, either.
Contact Rev. Donald Perryman, PhD, at firstname.lastname@example.org