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Saturday, April 16, 2005

OH-2: Open Seat Update & Testing New Ideas

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Six GOP candidates have already announced their intention of running for the soon to be open 2nd Congressional District in Ohio. The latest two to throw their hat into the ring are State Representative Tom Brinkman and former U.S. Representative Bob McEwen. So far, no Democrats have announced their intention to run for the seat. Current Representative Rob Portman (R-OH) was nominated by President Bush to become the next U.S. Trade Representative and is slated to stand before the Senate Finance Committee in a confirmation hearing next Thursday.

Swing State Project's very own DavidNYC started a discussion on DailyKos a few weeks ago about using this special election as a "trial run" to test out ideas involving grassroots/netroots type activism that might be risky to give a first go in a hotly contested seat.

I agree. When it comes to netroots activism, this would be a great opportunity to attempt the difficult process of distilling national support for a candidate down to the local level where it actually translates into votes, volunteer hours, and results on-the-ground. That means creating an online infrastructure that gets people talking to people in like-minded communities, whether those are interest or location based. As of right now, and outside of fundraising, most candidates/campaigns think the only option is to cast a "national net" and attempt to catch the pieces that fall between the cracks into their own states/districts. The "national net" might be fine for Presidential races, and it certainly has helped out quite a few statewide and congressional campaigns, but until we attempt to create the infrastructure that targets specific demographics (ie. location), we are leaving a lot of potential on the table. This would be my first priority with the OH-2 special election.

Now we just need a candidate. But as Bob is fond of saying. "Forget about the candidate, we have an election to win."

Posted at 07:54 PM in 2005 Elections, Activism, Ohio | Technorati


There was even a poll done in this race, for Pat DeWine:

Pat DeWine: 42
Bob McEwen: 10
Bill Keating: 7
Jean Schmidt: 7
Tom Brinkman: 6
Greg Hartman: 3
Unsure: 25

That's a nice chunk of undecideds. We could have a lot of fun with this race if the GOP side turns bloody. Local DFA needs to recruit someone.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2005 08:49 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

There is one candidate that has vowed to run should the Democratic Party find themselves derelict in recruiting a candidate.

His name is Wes Flynn. He has a blog as well. Good guy as well. I remember having a chance to talk with him a few times while working the Seemann race in 2004.

Posted by: Tim Tagaris [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2005 09:08 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm honored, Tim, that you'd consider me. However, I do believe that we will have a solid non-me candidate shortly.

(who has a job interview with a college in Massachusetts next week)

Posted by: Wes F in Cincinnati [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2005 11:27 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I wish that I could get involved in some of this discussion. There is a solution for mobilizing people, and it involves small leadership groups whose sole purpose is to duplicate themselves, not to volunteer. Volunteering comees later. So the way you get this off the ground in a congressional district is to get people recruiting other people not people volunteering. This can be done in a "multiplying" manner over a 3 to 6 month period.

check out here ... http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/4/15/20718/4057

and here...http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/3/27/15297/2218

Posted by: lookinforward [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 17, 2005 02:30 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I have a good feeling that SSP will be a source for mobilization, information, and recruitment when it comes to OH-2. I like to think that the more we open up the effort, the more successful we will be on the ground.

That said, I had already read one of those diaries, and will check out the other in short order.


Posted by: Tim Tagaris [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 17, 2005 03:48 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment