Advice To A Democrat Seeking To Defeat Incumbent Congressman Mike Turner In OH-10

After the retirement of Tony Hall from congress, in the last seven congressional elections the Democratic candidate seeking election in OH-10 has fallen well short of the votes needed to win. A Democratic candidate can find the needed additional votes only from these two groups:

  1. The group of those who habitually vote for Mike Turner, and,
  2. The group of those who habitually fail to vote at all.

The outrage at Trump will generate some anti-Republican votes from both groups but, given the power of incumbency and the popularity of Turner, Trump outrage by itself is unlikely to produce enough votes for a Democrat to win OH-10 — not in a contest defined as a TV ad war where Turner, if needed, will have millions of dollars to spend.

I’m writing this to urge you to take advantage of a wonderful opportunity that has the potential to:

  • Get lots of free media attention — attention that will gain you support from both of the two groups you must motivate.
  • Empower you to demonstrate leadership skills and character needed to make our system of representative democracy work as it should
  • Associate you with a big idea that captures people’s imagination, an idea that citizens, especially young people, can rally around.

People are sick of politics as it is today. Define yourself as a Dem that seeks to transform the Democratic Party. And show a plan of action to do just that. Demonstrating such leadership would make you attractive to members of both groups listed above.

  1. For Turner voters, a key fact is that nationally 43% of all voters identify as “independents.” This means that it is likely that at least 25% of habitual Turner voters like to think of themselves as independent or nonpartisan. These nonpartisan-leaning voters are looking for someone to stand up to the system and to change the system.
  2. For Dems who don’t vote, a key fact is that many are thoroughly discouraged with the Democratic Party. They are looking for someone to improve the Democratic Party.

Your opportunity is to raise up a 21st century vision of the Democratic Party that is attractive to both groups. Your chance to demonstrate leadership is to apply that vision to the local party organization — the Montgomery County Democratic Party.

  • Rewrite the MCDP Constitution so that it corresponds to that vision.
  • Engage Democrats to discuss and debate that vision.
  • Elect a MCDP Central Committee that will implement that vision.

A contest to transform the local party would generate media attention because such a contest is timely. Every four years a new MCDP Central Committee is elected, new officers are chosen and a new MCDP Constitution approved. This quadrennial event happens this coming May at the 2018 Democratic Primary, and the subsequent Central Committee Reorganization Meeting. Each of the county’s 360 precincts can elect a member of the Central Committee. In 2014, only about 100 precincts fielded even one candidate. Your time is short, because petitions to get on the ballot for the Democratic Primary is February 7, 2018.

If you can lead Democrats to transform the local party organization — by infusing it with a new generation of active members, new ideas, a new Constitution — if you can develop a 21st century party organization that is member directed and community oriented, you will not only win the primary contest to be the Democratic Party OH-10 candidate, you will establish yourself as a leader that can inspire and accomplish actions that help heal our sick system. This is the leader that a lot of voters are looking for. Such a leader will appeal to some Turner voters and to some nonvoting Dems as well. I believe the potential is there to generate sufficient votes to win. It would be a great deal of effort — but then, voters are looking for someone who is willing to make the effort.

Turner has failed to show leadership that brings people together or that creates social harmony. This failure of leadership can be the predominate issue in the campaign — if you position yourself to make it so. Turner is the incumbent, but he is not a leader. Voters are worried about the sick state of our representative democracy. They want someone to demonstrate the visionary leadership and personal character needed to make a difference. The coming reorganization of the MCDP presents you with a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate in real terms that you are the leader that voters are looking for.


2 comments to Advice To A Democrat Seeking To Defeat Incumbent Congressman Mike Turner In OH-10

  • Helen L. Hronec

    Thank you for your Advice to a Democrat who wants to see Mike Turner defeated in the 2018 election, a heavy lift, no doubt. But as you pointed out, there is a way forward if people become actively involved with the Democratic Party. I have also advocated for people to do that because if they are not satisfied with how they operate or differ on the issues, it is up to them to become a member and work internally to help make those changes. Your suggestions are very helpful and doable. I am sharing this with our Indivisible – Dayton, Ohio group to pass on it on to them and hopefully some will take that good advice.

  • Mike Bock

    Helen, Thanks for your comments. There are over 50,000 loyal Democrats in Montgomery County and less than one percent are engaged with the MCDP organization. The transformation that the local party needs can only happen if a lot more Democrats get directly involved in the governance of the organization. Every four years, each of the county’s 360 precincts can elect a member of the Central Committee — the controlling body of MCDP. In 2014 only 132 precincts had even one candidate. The next election is the Democratic Primary in May 2018. To get on the Democratic Primary ballot, petitions need to be turned into the Board of Elections by February 7, 2018.

    The newly elected Central Committee approves a new Constitution and elects new leaders. What is needed is a vision of transformation to be outlined in a proposal for a new Constitution.

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