At yesterday’s Democratic Primary, 186 Democrats were elected to serve on Montgomery County Democratic Party’s Central Committee. 151 of those elected had no competition; 35 candidates had competition. 122 (66%) of those Democrats elected yesterday are brand new to the MCDP — having never before served on the Central Committee.
Initially, it appeared that 196 Democrats would be elected, but of the 39 ballots for write-in candidates, ten ballots were not approved by the BOE — I’m guessing that somehow the write-in name did not perfectly match the name in the BOE’s records.
County Democrats who are paying attention want some big changes in the local party organization — particularly in light of the fact that this year the local party was unable to find any Democratic candidates to oppose Republican incumbents. The county will return three right-wingers to the Ohio Assembly without opposition — Phil Plumber (OHD-39), Tom Young (OHD-37), and Steven Huffman (OSD-5). These Republicans each have miserable records but because of the MCDP failure, voters will not be able to express their disapproval at the ballot box. This is shameful.
The big challenge for the MCDP is to build a Democratic Party infrastructure throughout the county that at present does not exist. The MCDP needs a campaign to bring many, many more Democrats into membership in the MCDP organization. There are almost 40,000 registered Democrats in the county, but “The Democratic Party” amounts to a very small downtown group. Right now, the MCDP pretty much is simply the Central Committee, and this is a fraction of the size it should be. This year only 49% of the precincts elected a Democrat to serve on the Central Committee. Pitiful, but an good improvement from 2018, when only 32% of the precincts participated.
One fun fact to share with new members is the fact that the MCDP, as such, doesn’t exist — not as a real organization. It is a list of names, a list of donors, not a real organization. What is called the Montgomery County Democratic Party amounts to just the MCPD Central Committee. The Central Committee should be part of a much larger organization — the Montgomery County Democratic Party. The MCDP must become an organization with a membership much larger than the membership of the Central Committee — even if all 382 precincts elect members.
I made an Excel matrix of the candidates and did an on-line research of each. I then gave each a score from 1 to 5 — indicating my evaluation of the candidate’s receptivity to change in the MCDP. Score of 1 indicates the candidate is very receptive to change, and a score of 5 indicates the candidate is very resistant to change. Here is the result:
- 1 Seeking major change 37 members
- 2 Receptive to change 74 members
- 3 Undetermined 19 members
- 4 Resistant to change 24 members
- 5 Defends the status quo 32 members
The MCDP needs a major restructuring — to inspire and empower hundreds, thousands, of county Democrats to become meaningfully engaged. According to my calculation 110 of 186 members (59%) newly elected to the Central Committee are either seeking major change or are receptive to implementing significant changes in the MCDP. Most all Democrats agree that the crisis of our time requires a strong, effective, consequential Democratic Party. This quadrennial Reorganization is a big opportunity — and obligation — for Central Committee members to agree on a plan of action.