Skip to main content Statement on Ohio’s Primary Election and the Path Ahead in Rural Counties

The following is a statement from Brent Edwards, Ohio Organizer for RuralOrganizing.Org: would like to congratulate Nan Whaley for winning the Democratic primary for Governor. Her courageous leadership of the City of Dayton has shown her ability as well as her genuine connection to the citizens of Ohio. She has proudly declared that Ohio is a pro-choice state, and will never waiver when it comes to defending reproductive rights. Her bold progressive values will sharply contrast with Governor Mike Dewine’s record of cowering to far-right extremists. also congratulates Tim Ryan for his victory in the Democratic Senate primary this Tuesday. Tim Ryan has proven his passion for the dignity of work, and for rebalancing the playing field so Ohio’s workers can compete in the global economy. He is the right candidate to expose JD Vance whose campaign is bankrolled by a secretive big data tech billionaire shorting Ohio workers.

Ohio can and does elect Democrats. Fortunately, we have a model for how to do it without scapegoating immigrants or foreign countries: Senator Sherrod Brown.  He puts his constituents first and shows candidates how to win statewide, including rural voters without engaging in ugly demagoguery so often present from Republicans.

When analyzing the election results a few stark facts emerge. Turnout this cycle for the Democratic Governor’s race was 510,362. This represents a 24 percent decline when compared to the last Governor’s primary in 2018. Furthermore when the mainly rural counties are looked at, the decline is even sharper at 27 percent. We urge all statewide Democratic candidates to reject the failed conventional wisdom that vicory can only be won through campaigning in the largest cities. Rural voters have been ignored for too long by the Democratic establishment, and their voices and concerns must be taken into account.

As a rural-focused progressive organization, is working tirelessly to promote the candidates and issues that will motivate rural voters and make a meaningful difference in the lives of rural people throughout Ohio. In Ohio, our multi-county strategy focuses on empowering local groups to be the trusted messengers in their communities rather than parachuting in. With Rural Organizing’s support, these local community groups strategically located in rural bellwether counties  will work to inform, persuade, and turnout the rural voters necessary to expand the electorate and improve vote margins  in their counties by targeting the most persuadable voters with a coordinated and layered approach.

The mission of  is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.


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