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2018 was a big election year in Ohio. Republicans held onto all five statewide executive offices including governor and super majorities in both the Ohio House and Senate. But there were a few bright spots for Democrats, among them the reelection of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and the election of two Democrats to the Ohio Supreme Court.With election 2018 over, the focus now shifts to governing. Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

Obama Fans Turn Out at Rally for Democrats in Cleveland

photo of Lena Leland, Renee Stapleton
Renee Stapleton (left) of South Euclid says Democrats need to re-engage with young people if they want to be more successful than in 2016. Lena Leland, a 16-year-old from Beachwood, says young people are already energized heading into this fall.

Former President Barack Obama was on Cleveland’s east side yesterday for a rally in support of the state’s Democratic ticket.

Although this was a campaign appearance for Richard Cordray -- who served in the Obama administration as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – the former president spent much of the speech discussing the current U.S. political climate. He touched on several issues – the economy, education, and Medicaid expansion – saying they transcend party lines.

“People of both parties -- and people who don’t have a party affiliation – should be concerned with our current course. Should be concerned about the basic institutions of our Democracy.”

Obama also spoke of his long history with Cordray.

“He was the first Attorney General in the country to go after the reckless mortgage lenders. The irresponsible actors on Wall Street. And he delivered. And because he was tough, and fair, and thoughtful, and did the work, I asked Rich to become America’s first-ever consumer watchdog.”

President Obama spoke for just under an hour, at one point invoking memories of his presidential campaigns.

“When you take that leap of faith and just make a little bit of effort: change happens.  Good things happen.  Hope happens.”

Other candidates appearing at the rally included Kathleen Clyde, running for Secretary of State, and Sen. Sherrod Brown.

The event comes as Ohio’s Democrats are trying to re-engage voters following big Republican wins in the state in 2016.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.