WILMINGTON — Clinton County Democrats held their annual Spring Dinner Sunday evening in Wilmington. Central Chair Cindy Sutton welcomed the crowd of 70 and asked for a moment of silence for the tragedy that occurred in Orlando. Following the dinner by McCoy’s, Executive Chair Ann Reno introduced the speakers.
Kelsey Swindler gave an update on Wilmington City Council projects and the importance of working with City Council for the benefit of Wilmington residents.
Rev. Dean Feldmeyer, candidate for Clinton County Commissioner, offered a quote from Gen. Colin Powell in which the general asserted that “only by attracting the best people will you get great deeds.” Feldmeyer said that, while candidates can talk about plans and visions and “dreams and schemes” for the future, no one really knows what the future will bring, so when we vote for a candidate, we are really basing our vote on the candidate’s values and character and how they will inform his or her decision-making.
“Does this candidate believe in, and will this person work for, a stronger Clinton County and broader prosperity that benefits all of our citizens? Will this candidate work for a better, brighter future for our children and grandchildren? Does this candidate believe in effective, efficient, transparent, accountable government that works for the common good?” These are the values we must look for in our candidates,” Feldmeyer said. “Strength, caring and responsibility are the character traits we must demand of our leaders if we want a better, stronger, more prosperous Clinton County.”
Candidate for Ohio Supreme Court, Judge John O’Donnell, who was elected to the Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas and has presided over scores of jury trials in felony criminal cases and civil lawsuits, has consistently been rated “Excellent” by the bar association. Judge O’Donnell spoke about the fact that voters tend to “drop off” or stop voting their ballot before they reach the judges names listed on the ballot.
Judge Cynthia Rice, candidate for the other Ohio Supreme Court seat, is “Highly Recommended” by the Ohio Bar Association. Her opponent Patrick DeWine is “Not Recommended.” Judge Rice talked about the importance of electing highly qualified judges.
Scott Wharton, candidate for Congress, 15th District, spoke about the many changes he would make when he is elected. He said last year the Department of Defense proposed a new set of regulations designed to stop payday loans that target our troops. These loans generally charge interest rates of 300 to 500 percent and make little effort to determine whether a borrower can afford to repay the loan.
“Our present Congressman, Steve Stivers, wrote and introduced legislation that would allow payday lenders to continue to prey on the men and women who are protecting our country,” Wharton said. “He has made excuses, blaming it on everything from wanting to get it right to Obamacare. According to Americans for Financial Reform, Mr. Stivers has received over $80,000 from payday lenders in 2014 and another $40,000 in 2015. The message needs to get out to military families that Col. Stivers has chosen to support ‘special interests’ (payday lenders) over our men and women fighting for our country.”
Ann Reno, speaking for former Governor of Ohio and Congressman Ted Strickland, who is running for U.S. Senate, called Strickland “the most honest and hard-working Congressman in Ohio.
“The values he learned in southern Ohio has guided him throughout his life and they are the same principles he will bring to fighting for Ohio’s working people in the Senate,” Reno said. “His opponent doesn’t understand what life is like for working families since he comes from a world of wealth, power and privilege and in Washington pushes the agenda of the wealthy and well-connected at our expense.”
Former Ohio First Lady Frances Strickland played her guitar and sang an original song to the delight of the audience. The dinner concluded with a silent auction and the opportunity to meet and speak with the candidates.
Ann Reno is Executive Chair of the Clinton County Democratic Party.