The Truth Staff
Lucas County Recorder Michael Ashford hosted a fundraiser at The Truth Gallery last week during which he addressed his audience and spoke of the fact that he wears two hats – County Recorder and chairman of the Lucas County Democratic Party. He addressed his duties and the changes coming in both offices.
As Lucas County Recorder, Ashford answered the age-old question about that position – “What do we do?”
“The office is the foundation of every communication in county government,” he said, answering his own query. His job, he noted, is to make record keeping and communication as easy for users as possible. He commended his team, a number of whom were on hand, and spoke at length about the contributions they had made to what he sees as the continuing success of the office.
Ashford is up for re-election in next year’s general election, having won a special election last year after he assumed office to fill the position left vacant by the death of the previous office holder, Phil Copeland.
But he won’t be wearing two hats for much longer. Ashford has served as chairman of the local Democratic Party for 30 months – an unusually long term given the fact that there had been nine chairmen in the 17 years before he took over the top party post.
“But my expiration date has come,” he said. “March 31 will be my last day.”
Ashford noted that during his 30-month tenure as chairman he had notched some notable accomplishments.
“I’ve had a great run and have had the opportunity to help some great people get elected. We have won 36 out of 41 seats – that’s 36 and five!.”
Ashford also took pride in the number of minority candidates who have prevailed in their contests during that 30-month period.
“We’ve been able to get people of color elected when they weren’t supposed to get elected – we have much more diversity in office than we have seen before.”
Ashford, the first Black person to lead the local Democratic party, said that he was also proud of the fact that the party was able to “keep the doors open” during the peak of the pandemic, unlike other political operations that shut down for various periods.
“I am proud of my record, and more importantly that I had the opportunity to work with dedicated volunteers and committed elected officials. It’s time to pass the torch,” Ashford said. “In 2024, there will be President, Senate, and Congress races. It will take time to organize those campaigns on a county level. My first responsibility is to the citizens of Lucas County as Recorder. That’s 40-plus hours per week and I still have to work at being Recorder and to run my re-election campaign in 2024. I simply don’t have the time.”