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Government & Politics

New Democratic Party Chair Plans Grassroots Organizing

a photo of Liz Walters
Elizabeth Walters
/
Ohio Democratic Party
Liz Walters is the new chairwoman of the Ohio Democratic Party. Walters currently serves on Summit County Council and says she will continue to do so.

Democrats have long dominated politics in Summit County. Now a prominent Summit County Democrat has been tapped to lead the party statewide. Liz Walters plans to help the party rebound from an election cycle that did not go in its favor.

With the endorsement of Ohio’s most successful Democrat, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Liz Walters became the first female chair of the Ohio Democratic Party, replacing former chairman David Pepper who resigned in December. She plans to bring back grassroots efforts to reach voters, focusing on the dignity of work and health care, among other issues.

“Overall, (I) really want to focus ODP and bring ODP to a core of organizing, of focusing on the people that we serve through our volunteers, focusing on meaningful connection with voters," Walters said.

She said this is something the party struggled with amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and she plans to utilize digital organizing tools and socially distanced canvassing techniques to reach voters.

Although the 2020 elections did not go favorably for Democrats in Ohio, Walters is optimistic about the future.

Walters sees opportunity for Democrats
The new party chairwoman is optimistic her organizing strategies can lead to more wins.
Liz Walters

“In the next eighteen months, Ohio Democrats have a huge opportunity," Walters said. "Though the results in 2020 weren’t what we wanted, I think there’s a couple of key points that people have to remember, which is that more Democratic voters showed up than ever before. We just didn’t have enough to compensate the Trump surge.”

Walters questions if the Trump surge voters will be consistent and thinks the improved organizing strategies she’s proposing will lead to more wins for Democrats.

Walters says she will continue her role as president of Summit County Council while leading the party.