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Ohio Democratic Party Chooses New Leader

Jo Ingles

The Ohio Democratic Party has a new leader. Summit County Council member Liz Walters was elected party chair last night by the executive committee. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports. <--break->

It came down to two women – Antoinette Wilson and Liz Walters. After a few words about the need to rebuild the party by enlisting the strength of leaders in Ohio's 88 counties, Antoinette Wilson said something that appeared to take many by surprise.

"I can honestly say that in my career, I have always put the interests of this party first. And tonight, I'm going to do that once again. So that I ask that we unite in support of Liz Walters as the party chair," Wilson said.

There were a few minutes of silence after Wilson withdrew. The committee then went on to vote Walters into the position unanimously.

After taking the oath, Walters talked about party unity. And she told a story about she saw first-hand problems with lack of healthcare after her mother’s death from cancer. She said that journey propelled her to work for change. And she urged party members to focus on their own stories. 

“Now, more than ever, we need to lean into them because the work ahead for our party will be hard and no doubt, we are going to have many tough conversations about our detailed strategies and our tactics," Walters said.

Walters, former ODP Executive Director, replaces David Pepper, who resigned last month, saying the party needs new leadership following Republican wins in 2020. And because the chair of the party is now female, a male vice chair needed to be elected as well. Andre' Washington was the unanimous choice for that job.  

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