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Candidate and Campaign Support



One year ago, the SCPD Candidate Recruitment and Support Committee, a sub-committee of our Leadership Development Committee (LDC), was working to recruit and vet candidates for the Ohio Senate, Ohio House of Representatives, State Board of Education, and countywide elected positions. The leadership of both the Ohio House and Ohio Senate caucuses consulted with our committee on an ongoing basis, and our committee members reached out to potential candidates to ensure that progressive Democrats would appear on the 2014 ballot. In addition, our committee recruited volunteers to work on campaigns of our endorsed candidates. The results of our efforts were very effective in recruiting candidates. However, they were, well, underwhelming in securing the number of volunteers that were needed.

That was then. Given the mostly disappointing results of the 2014 elections, our committee has broadened its scope. Two initiatives are underway.

First, thanks to the efforts of committee member, Eddie Rice, plans are being developed to create an SCPD Toastmasters group. The idea is to help develop public speaking skills for our endorsed candidates and to focus on messaging that resonates with voters. Similar progressive Toastmaster groups are operating throughout the country. Several SCPD members and candidates we endorsed last year have expressed an interest in joining the group.

Second, our committee is designing a candidate support manual that will be specific to Summit County to assist candidates and campaign managers. Our goal is to provide a resource to our endorsed candidates so they will be able to quickly and efficiently access items such as donor lists, campaign materials vendors, schedules of community events, contact information for key organizations, and much more. To that end, our committee has drafted a survey that will be sent to select candidates and officeholders. The survey responses will provide specific information and description of the resources that have proven to be valuable and which will be incorporated into the support manual.

Our Candidate and Campaign Support Committee meets on the third Wednesday of each month, 6:30 pm at the Nervous Dog Coffee Shop in Stow. Committee members are: Bob Gippin, Denise Woods, Sarah Rubens, Eddie Rice, Guy Martenette, Dennis Brinton, Peter Nischt, Bradford Carlton, Dianna Sudia-Smith-Carlton, and Tom Schmida (chair).

This committee is always happy to have new members. If you would like to join us, send an email here.

By Tom Schmida, Member-at-Large