Only 40% of Montgomery County Precincts Have At Least One  Candidate For the MCDP Central Committee

The MC Board of Elections shows that the names of the 196 Democrats who have turned in petitions to be candidates seeking election to the Central Committee of the Montgomery County Democratic Party. The election will be at the Democratic Primary on May 4.

 
228 of the county’s 381 precincts (60%) have zero candidates. Democrats seeking to serve on the Central Committee have one more chance. The deadline to turn in a write-in petition is 72 days before the Primary — February 18. Download this form. All that is required on this petition is the candidate’s signature. The name of a write-in candidate does not appear on the ballot and a write-in candidate usually wins with only one or two votes.
 
After the results of the May 4 Primary are verified by the BOE, the quadrennial MCDP Reorganization Meeting will be scheduled later in May. This key meeting sets the direction of the local organization for the next four years. The newly elected members of the Central Committee, by majority of those in attendance, will choose officers for the MCDP and will make changes and amendments to the MCDP Constitution.
 
Democrats in every precinct can elect a member of the Central Committee, but usually more than one-half of the precincts are not contested. This year, so far, only 153 of the county’s 381 precincts have even one candidate. This is 40%. The BOE report shows that 114 precincts have one candidate, 36 precincts have two candidates and three precincts have three candidates.
 
On the 196 candidates filing petitions, 43 will lose the Primary election. In previous years, these losing candidates would be appointed to represent uncontested precincts, but this practice has been discontinued. State law requires that all members of the Central Committee must reside in the precinct they represent and the ODP has cracked down and is insisting that all county organizations abide by this law.
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Let’s Amend The MCDP Constitution So, In 2026, Rank-And-File Democrats Will Directly Elect The Montgomery County Democratic Party Chairperson

In 1858, in the election for the US Senate, Abraham Lincoln lost to Steven Douglas by a vote of voted 54 to 46 in the Illinois legislature. The first members of the Senate chosen by direct election was in 1914.

After the May 4 Democratic Primary there will be scheduled the 2022 Montgomery County Democratic Party Reorganization Meeting. Reorganization is a big opportunity — every four years — for Montgomery County Democrats to re-think and re-structure the local party organization. 

I’d like to see the MCDP Constitution revised so at the next Reorganization, in 2026, rank-and-file Democrats, who so choose, can directly elect the Chairperson of the MCDP.

Direct election of US Senators came with the 17th Amendment in 1913. The goal then, of the progressives who worked to pass this Amendment, remains the goal for progressives now — make positive changes in our system of representative democracy that will empower the rank-and-file and will make our republican system more robust.

Montgomery County has about 40,000 Democrats and in past quadrennial reorganizations, only about 120 Democrats have been elected to the Central Committee and only about 100 have attended the MCDP Reorganization Meeting. This small group chooses the leader for the thousands of Democrats in the county. It’s even worse at the state level. The ODP Chair chosen to lead Ohio’s 1.3 million Democrats is selected by a very tiny politburo. (See: Note To David Pepper: Go For the Big Win — Invite All Ohio Democrats To Become Voting Members Of The ODP)

At the 2018 Reorganization Meeting, the organization got a new name. The new MCDP Constitution replaced “The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee Constitution.” The name of the organization officially became “The Montgomery County Democratic Party” in 2018, but the content of the current MCDP Constitution remains as before — focused exclusively on the Central Committee. On the MCDP web-site, rank-and-file Democrats who so choose can “become members” of the MCDP, and pay dues, but this is just a fund raiser. There is no actual MCDP organization.

I’d like to see the 2022 Reorganization ratify an MCDP Constitution that establishes the MCDP as a real organization — open to membership of all rank-and-file Montgomery County Democrats. This organization would have officers. It would have committees. It would advance a vision of grassroots activism. The goal would be that, over time, the MCDP would become a network of grassroots Democratic communities — serving their local jurisdictions — building the Democratic Party as an attractive brand. 

The Ohio Revised code indicates that one of the MCDP’s committees must be the Central Committee and this must be the “controlling committee.”  The 2022 MCDP Constitution would spell out a process where decisions of the virtual group, the MCDP, would be verified by the in-person group, the MCDP Central Committee. (The rule of the ODP is that only those in in-person attendance may vote in the Central Committee. This rule has been suspended temporarily because of Covid.)

In the new structure, there should be no conflict between the MCDP organization and the MCDP Central Committee because all of the members of the Central Committee also will be members of the MCDP. Most often, members of the Central Committee will be the leaders of the MCDP organization. All of the work of the Central Committee will be transparent to the membership of the MCDP organization, with a process of feedback established in the Constitution. The person chosen the MCDP Chair most likely also would be chosen the MCDP Central Committee Chair. In the new structure, there will be no Executive Committee.

The MCDP Constitution will spell out the process for endorsement that will include participation and a vote by the on-line membership of the MCDP.

The way forward for the Democratic Party is to deliver the message that it is the “For-democracy” community. It is a partisan political party seeking to win elections, yes, but it attracts voters because it delivers the message that it is a force for democracy in the grassroots — standing for civic virtue, servant leadership, transparency, democracy.

The MCDP Constitution in its present form is a relic of a previous time when the county Democratic Party organization had control of many, many patronage jobs. If you could become a Ward Leader, or become a member of the Executive Committee, you might have the clout to get your cousin a job working on county roads. So the current constitution establishes the power lines for a very hierarchical, political boss system typical of 19th century political parties. This structure — based on patronage — at one time may have motivated a Democratic community to get engaged and to pitch in and do the hard work needed to win elections. But now it is out of date. It is not working.

To motivate Democrats, especially the youth, we need basic changes to the MCDP structure to empower the rank-and-file using 21st century technology. The new constitution needs to support a vision of the MCDP as an inviting community — where members love and respect each other and who are like-minded in their passion for service and their passion for democracy.

Rather than amending the 2018 MCDP Constitution, there needs to be a basic reconstruction. One goal of such a reconstruction should be the direct election of the MCDP Chair by an on-line members-only MCDP organization.

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Jocelyn Rhynard Announces Her Candidacy To Be Elected MCDP Chairperson, Says That She Wants To “Pick Up The Mantle” of Mark Owens

Exiting in a chariot of fire, Elijah left his mantle fall to earth.

Jocelyn Rhynard has announced her candidacy to be elected the Chairperson of the Montgomery County Democratic Party. The election will take place at the quadrennial MCDP Reorganization Meeting to be scheduled after the May 2 Democratic Primary. Below is the email that Jocelyn sent to MCDP Central Committee members telling her goals for the party.

Rhynard praised Mark Owens, the MCDP Chair for the last 15 years, and declared “I am ready and willing to pick up the mantle” — implying, but surely not, that Mark, like Elijah, may be exiting in a chariot of fire.

Jocelyn is a member of the Dayton Board of Education. She was endorsed by the MCDP and was re-elected to the Dayton Board in 2021.

Jocelyn Rhynard

The Chairman of the MCDP will be determined by majority vote by the newly elected MCDP Central Committee at the  2022 MCDP Reorganization Meeting to be held after the May 2 Democratic Primary.

Any Montgomery County Democrat may seek election to the MCDP Central Committee. Every four years at the Democratic Primary elections to the Central Committee are held. Every precinct can elect one member of the Central Committee. In the past most precincts have had zero candidates and only a handful of precincts have more than one candidate.

A new rule of the OPD is that in those precincts where there is competitions, the losers will be disqualified from appointment to the Central Committee for the next four years.  In previous elections, after the Reorganization Meeting, the losers generally were appointed to the Central Committee to represent a precinct that had had no candidates. The new OPD rule means that such appointments are no longer allowed. The new rule says that a member of the Central Committee must reside in the precinct in which he or she lives.

Petitions are due to the BOE by February 2 and five signatures are required.

 

Subject: I’m running for Montgomery County Democratic Party Chair

 

Sent: Monday January 10 2022 8:48:51PM

To my Montgomery County Democratic Party friends,

 

I am honored to know you and count you among my friends. In the time I’ve been involved in the Party, I have worked shoulder to shoulder with you to elect Democrats to office, from the White House to municipal elections. Together we have knocked doors, dropped lit, run campaigns, attended meetings, put up hundreds of yard signs, and supported candidates all over Montgomery County. I have had the privilege of being twice elected to the Dayton School Board, and I am proud of my record of strong and steady leadership in that role.

 

Above all, I deeply believe that Democratic values, policies, and legislation make all of our lives better. And I believe that the Montgomery County Democratic Party, and the Democrats like you and me who make the party run, are crucial to electing Democrats and defeating Republicans in our cities, school boards, courthouses, the Statehouse, and in Washington. We want to win more elections, and we want to turn Ohio blue.

 

Which is why I am excited to announce that I am running for Chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Party. Chairman Mark Owens has served tirelessly for the last 15 years, and we thank him for his service. I am ready and willing to pick up the mantle. I have the time, energy, resources, and experience to do the work of leading the party.

As your next party Chair, I would be committed to three guiding principles:

 

  1. Build the party: Revisit the party’s constitution to make much-needed updates and reflect new realities among its activists and volunteers; Create guidelines for and commitments from Ward Leaders and Precinct Captains; Revitalize committees to move the party forward; Execute strong fundraising year round so the party can better support Democratic candidates.
  2. Build the bench: Hold annual trainings for Democrats interested in running for office or working on a campaign; Reach out to the community between elections; Identify and engage Democrats who can join and strengthen the party, as well as be future candidates.
  3. Engage Democrats inside and outside the party: Hold regular coordinated messaging meetings – for both elected officials and candidates – to strengthen our work across the county; Hold regular listening tours to heal the very real divides in our communities; Have community outreach days, so the Democratic party can have a real presence in the lives of Montgomery County citizens.

I believe that by building the party, building the bench, and engaging Democrats across the county, we can run more competitive races, challenge more Republicans, and win more elections.

 

As we prepare for electing our next Chair following the primary election, I humbly ask for your support. I welcome your input and would be happy to meet to discuss any questions you may have. I look forward to serving the Party for the next four years.

Jocelyn Rhynard

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