The Mission To Flip OSD-06 — Valiant, But A Failure. We Need A DeBriefing: “What Went Right, What Didn’t, and Why”

Ohio Senate District 06 had a great candidate in Democrat Mark Fogel — a 40 year old graduate of Air Force Academy who served as a jet pilot for the Air Force — and it looked like Fogel had a great chance of flipping this Republican district. Fogel was very qualified, informed, and likable. He ran a good campaign. His Republican opponent, Niraj Antani, in his six years in the Ohio House was famous for extreme views and awful pro-gun and anti-abortion legislation — far out of the mainstream.

Thanks so much to Allison Benford — our President of The South of Dayton Democratic Club — for posting this map showing the presidential vote in each of Montgomery County’s 360 precincts. I very much appreciate this effort which, I know, represented hours of work. The map shows Dayton solidly Democratic and the the region west of Dayton, solidly Republican — merging with Prebble County which voted 78% for Trump. Senate District 06 is two-thirds of the county — everything north, east and south Dayton. It is an interesting mix, with various islands that are solidly Democratic.

This Republican District would not yield. It stayed Republican and Antani won with 53.2% of the vote. The problem for Fogel was not money — Fogel had three times as much campaign cash as Antani. This from the DDN:

Democratic candidate Mark Fogel outraised by a 3-to-1 margin state Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, who is serving his third term as the representative of the 42nd district of the Ohio House of Representatives.
Fogel’s campaign raised the money via 1,026 more donors than Antani’s.
Antani’s campaign raised $76,746.37, according to a pre-election campaign finance report. Of that amount, $63,242.35, a little more than 82 percent, came from Political Action Committees or PACs, with contributions received from 44 individuals.
Fogel’s campaign raised $242,650.73 via more than 1,500 individual contributions, with unique donors comprising 1,070 of them.

In keeping with his experience in the Air Force, I’m thinking that Mark is working on a debriefing of his campaign. He explains in The Culture of a Fighter Squadron that after every mission there was an intense debriefing to understand “what went right, what didn’t, and why.”

I contributed money to Mark’s campaign and I’m hoping that Mark will share his debriefing with his donors and supporters — and the Montgomery County Democratic Party Central Committee. The mission to flip District 06 was a flop. What can we learn from that failed effort? For the mission to have been a success, two things had to happen:

  • Enough non-voters had to become registered and then had to vote Democratic.
  • Enough previous Republican voters had to vote Democratic.

So, 2024 will be here before we know it and Democrats will once again have the opportunity to flip District 06. What should be the strategy? What is the plan that Democrats can, over the next four years, implement so that the Democratic candidate will have a better chance? Debriefing the District 06 election would make for a good discussion at a South of Dayton Democratic Club Zoom meeting.

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