I was honored to share the stage with three other qualified candidates in the first Democratic Debate to help determine the next governor of Ohio.
For those viewers who grew accustomed to bringing out the popcorn for last election’s Republican debates, our forum may have left you dissatisfied. No cheap potshots were taken. Nobody was belittled for being “low-energy” or “sweaty.” None of us boasted about the size of our hands.
Some in the media were disappointed at the lack of fireworks. They’re clamoring for a reality star’s entrance into the race to stir the pot. I’m not surprised – in the age of page view-generated revenue, clicks are king. But, after spending months on the campaign trail, I’m confident that the media’s fascination with a reality show shakeup isn’t shared by the voters.
I’ve launched an 88-County Strategy – traveling to each county of our state and speaking with voters in person. It’s part of my pledge to leave nobody behind in our campaign or in the Pillich administration. I’m doing my part to give those Democrats who have wandered from our party a reason to return home.
During my travels, I’ve had no voter tell me they would prefer their next governor to court outrage or throw chairs. Nobody has asked me to stop focusing so much on policies to improve their lives.
Instead, voters consistently tell me they want leadership and they want solutions.
When I spoke with voters in the American Legion in Coshocton County – none of them, shockingly, wanted to chat about “Baby Mama Bombshells.” Instead, they were worried about losing their access to health care.
I was glad to talk to them about my public option proposal to take on the insurance companies and reform Ohio’s health care system. My plan would let anybody buy into Medicaid or the State Employee’s Insurance plan, ensuring every Ohio citizen has at least two options for affordable care.
When I met with voters on a Saturday morning at a diner in Lawrence County, not one of them wanted to talk about a “Man Who Married his Horse.”
Rather, folks had thoughtful questions – we talked about my plans to stand up to the special interests that keep shipping our jobs out of state and overseas. I proposed and work to capitalize on our states’ manufacturing backbone to grow the jobs of the 21st century.
And here in Hamilton County, when I spoke to recent college grads. None of them even bothered to solicit my thoughts on “Trailer Park Trysts,” if you can believe it.
I know some members of the media would rather continue ignoring our candidates’ policy proposals and turn the governor’s race into a circus.
But that won’t change my strategy. I’ll continue traveling the state, building my campaign county by county and voter by voter. I’ll keep discussing the mission-focused leadership training I received as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. And I’ll keep talking about my proposed solutions to move our state forward.
It’s okay if some members of the press aren’t interested. I know that the voters are.
This op-ed originally ran in the Cincinnati Enquirer, and was provided by the Pillich for Governor campaign.