Meet the Nominees

Who Blue Ohio’s Supporting in 2022

 Blue Ohio, a joint project between former Ohio Democratic party chair David Pepper and It Starts Today, is dedicated to making sure that Democratic nominees for Ohio state legislature have resources to fight – no matter what district or zip code they live in.

 We are proud to be able to support the following nominees in 2022:

Darnell Brewer

Darnell Brewer

Democratic nominee, Ohio State House, District 18

As a lifelong Cleveland resident, Darnell has been advocating for his community since he was a teenager.

As a graduate of Cleveland State University in Urban Studies, and a Student of Cleveland Marshall College of Law, Darnell has gained vast experience over the last three decades in social services, community health, organizational leadership in business, and economic development.

  Darnell has been recognized for his work with Kinship Care, Juvenile Justice and Environmental Rights.

“In the years to come, let’s move forward in combating poverty, increase funding for public transportation, and continuing to shine a light on preventing maternal, infant mortality and morbidity.”

Darnell is a strong advocate for social Justice. It is Darnell’s goal to shine a light on District 18, unveil its full potential, and improve the quality of life for all. 

Learn more at http://www.darnelltbrewer.com/

Bryan Burgess

Bryan Burgess

Democratic nominee, Ohio State House, District 54

Bryan is the current Oberlin City Council President and Mayor. He was first elected to City Council in January 2010, when the operative question for the city was: if not coal, then what?

Bryan answered that question with an energy plan that delivered. In just a few short years, 85% of Oberlin’s electricity was supplied from clean sources and had the lowest cost rates in Northern Ohio.

He was a lead author of Oberlin’s Climate Action Plan, which created a new Sustainable Reserve Fund that raised $2.8 million for energy efficiency improvements. 

Bryan, a gun owner, has joined Mom’s Demand Action in lobbying state legislators on gun safety. He believes it is impossible to talk about gun rights without also talking about responsibilities. He has testified in favor of sensible gun measures and authored and passed resolutions through Oberlin City Council. 

Learn more at www.eriecountydems.org

Andrew Dodson

Andrew Dodson

Democratic nominee, Ohio State House, District 90

The son of two public school teachers, Andrew has lived in Southern Ohio practically all his life. He wants his kids to be able to raise their families in Southern Ohio, too. But that requires jobs and opportunities that are lacking–and that their current representative has no plans to fix.

Andrew has a local photography studio, where he has photographed seniors and aspiring models for the past eight years. As a small business owner and long-time community member, he understands the struggles –and frustrations–of everyday folks in the area.

“Corrupt politicians just aren’t helping us. It’s time to make a change. I want to make some noise in Columbus. I want the General Assembly to take notice of us and finally invest in our community.”

Andrew wasn’t born into money, and his campaign isn’t funded by a trust fund. It’s fueled with coffee and a passion to improve the lives of all Southern Ohioans. Learn more at https://www.votedodson.com/

Troy Greenfield

Troy Greenfield

Democratic nominee, Ohio State House, District 17

Troy was raised in a UAW union household and has been a member of the American Guild of Variety Artists labor union since 1997. She supports unions, she’s in a union, and will fight to keep labor unions strong.

As a performing arts teacher for over 20 years, Troy has helped to develop and empower students of all ages through arts education. Troy has also been a grassroots volunteer and organizer for over ten years. 

Troy works as a data initiatives and research professional. Her work focuses on the diversity, equity, and inclusion achievements of organizations in Northeast Ohio. 

“By living and working in our community as a teacher and small business owner, I know how many of us feel disregarded in the rooms where decisions about how we can live and enjoy our lives are being made.”

“I will fight for a more stable workforce, safe and private reproductive medical care and safer, more secure school environments for all students and educators.” Learn more at https://troyforohio.com/

Chuck Horn

Chuck Horn

Democratic nominee, Ohio State House District 45

Chuck is a 25-year resident of West Chester, and a UC Bearcat (economics, business and law).

Chuck has been endorsed by AFSCME Power in Action, IUOE Local 18, Progessive Turnout Project, and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, who said:

“Chuck Horn is a leader who will fight for affordable healthcare and quality education in Ohio. He knows the needs of suburban families, and he understands that the Dignity of Work is not just a slogan, it’s how we govern”.

Chuck has two Lakota Band kids and has spent 37 years helping people with the rule of law.

At Lexis Nexis, Chuck led people and managed information technology to solve problems.

Learn more about Chuck at https://chuckforohio.com/

Magdalene Markward

Magdalene Markward

Democratic nominee, Ohio State House, District 82

Magdalene describes herself as an ordinary, everyday working-class 35-year-old mother who is running to put people first.

“I am very familiar with the struggles of the average Ohioan. I have, and am living it. I know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck. I know what it’s like to not be able to pay your bills on time or worry that you won’t have grocery money or gas money to get to work. I know what it’s like to be drowning in student loan and medical debt that you’re pretty sure you’ll never be able to pay off. I know about the struggles of families to find and afford childcare. I know about the struggle to find affordable housing. I know about the reality of working 12+ hour days 5-6 days a week and still not being able to get ahead financially.

And I know that these struggles are the result of policy decisions that put money before people, corporate profits before the public good, and benefit a wealthy few at the expense of the working- and middle-class.

I am running for office to put people first.” Learn more at https://www.electmagdalene.com/

Meg Overman

Meg Overman

Democratic nominee, Ohio State House, District 37

Megan Overman is a write-in candidate for State Representative in District 37.

Meg is a lifelong Ohioan who currently lives in Centerville with her husband and their two children, ages 12 and 3.

She is an editor in educational publishing, with a focus on ELA and Social Studies for K-12 students. She has bachelor degrees from Ohio University and a Masters in Literature from Wright State University.

During her time in Centerville, she has been part of the Dayton writing community and is a former skater with Gem City Roller Derby.

Meg is a common sense candidate, focused on defeating extremist legislation in the State House and promoting changes that will represent the majority of Ohioans. 

Charlotte Owens

Charlotte Owens

Democratic nominee, Ohio State House, District 69

Charlotte grew up on a farm and appreciates the hard work of farmers, who face the challenges of a chaotic weather and economic environment.

Life in the country also proved to her the importance of such services as rural electric cooperatives, the postal service, telephone service, and good roads. As Charlotte says, “[a]s a nation, we are all in this together, and need to support rural areas, as well as suburban and urban areas.”

From her experiences working and volunteering, Charlotte recognizes that everyone has struggles that can limit their lives, and sometimes their ability to learn.  “We need to create a more equitable society, so that people aren’t focused on where they will get their next meal, or where they can sleep safely, or when they will have enough time and attention for their children.”

Trained as a chemist, Charlotte has taught chemistry at the high school and college levels for the last two decades. Learn more at https://www.owensforohio.com/

Eric Price

Eric Price

Democratic nominee, Ohio State House, District 70

I’m a small-town, corn-fed, country boy from Ohio. My high school was located in the middle of farmland and when I graduated, there were only 86 of us that year. After the first gulf war kicked off, I joined the military as soon as I could. As a soldier, I honed my security and law enforcement skills. 

I married my high school sweetheart shortly after enlisting. We’ll be celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary this year. We have been blessed with four amazing children, who I couldn’t be more proud of.

I spent 25 years in the Air Force. I worked in law enforcement, sensitive weapons security, antiterrorism, active shooter defense planning, weapons employment and instructional systems design. I have co-authored doctrine for the most sensitive resources of American Military might. My work led to the Air Force’s approach to ground based warfare being updated and standardized. 

As a veteran, I know the importance of Unity, Service, and Accountability. I deeply believe in the US Constitution and the role it plays in protecting the rights of ALL Americans. When elected, I will bring these experiences and this knowledge to the state house in Columbus.

Learn more at https://www.ericpriceforall.com/

Dianne Selvey

Dianne Selvey

Democratic nominee, Ohio State House, District 88

Dianne, a long-time Democratic activist and supporter, was recruited to run as a write-in candidate for Ohio state house against incumbent Representative Gary Click.

Dianne grew up in Green Springs and graduated from Clyde Green Springs High School. After a 37-year career working as a supervisor at Whirlpool, she was looking forward to retirement and spending time with her husband Brent, four children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Election 2022 had other plans for her.

Dianne has a BA in Business Administration from Heidelberg and has quickly assembled an energetic grassroots operation to take on Click.

Dianne says, “With fellowship and humor I’m sure we can more than win, we can make a difference.” She has pledged to work hard to earn the trust and vote of her fellow community members.

Heather Swiger

Heather Swiger

Democratic nominee, Ohio State Senate, District 19

Heather is a Non-Profit Director with public and private sector experience including more than 30 years in leadership roles in the homeless system and insurance industry. 

Heather was born and raised in a small, blue-collar town by a union steel mill working father and stay at home mother. Her parents instilled respect for others and love of family and taught her early about hard work, struggle, and joy. She is driven each day to be as good of a human as both of her parents were in life.  

Heather and her husband Wes have raised 4 wonderful children, all of whom attended public schools. Being a mother is Heather’s greatest accomplishment and you can tell when she mentions any of their names.  When she’s not on the campaign trail, Heather likes to travel with her family, walk, kayak, and ride bikes with her husband. Her favorite activity besides talking to voters is spending time with the family fur babies: four very “Friend-ly” dogs (Rachel, Chandler Bing, Monica and Ben Geller), and a rabbit named Bunny. 

Learn more at https://swigerforstatesenate.com/

Paul Zorn

Paul Zorn

Democratic nominee, Ohio State House, District 55

A Vietnam veteran, Paul Zorn worked for 36 years at the U.S. Postal Service. In his life he has also been a long-haul trucker, taxi driver, and family small business owner – as he took over his father’s vending machine business.

Until about 15 years ago, Paul was also a certified natural grower of garlic and blueberries. He and his wife ran Peace Angel Farm, which sold produce at a roadside stand and at local stores such as Whole Foods, and was featured on PBS, the Cincinnati Enquirer, and the cookbook Farms and Foods of Ohio; From Garden Gate to Dinner Plate. 

For 20 years Paul served as a union steward with the American Postal Workers Union. Labor values run deep in his family, as his father was a member of the printer’s union, his grandfather was a member of UAW and his great-grandfather was the secretary for the national Brewery and Bottlers Union.

Until last year, Paul proudly served his community as a three-term Village council person. He has also served on the zoning board and the historical society.

Paul was recently re-elected as the chaplain for the Ohio VFW District 4 in Cincinnati. Learn more at https://www.paulzorn4ohio.com/

Drew Burge

Drew Burge

Democratic nominee, Ohio State House, District 67

Charlie DiPalma

Charlie DiPalma

Democratic nominee, Ohio State House, District 96

 

 

David Dallas

David Dallas

Democratic nominee, Ohio State Senate, District 7

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which nominees does Blue Ohio fund and how?
Blue Ohio uses a “bathtub” method of funding, where the community funds are used to lift the nominees from the bottom up. After the primary, we’ll look to the Democratic primary winners’ most recent campaign finance filings, and distribute community funds until the nominees all have at least $1,000. Then we’ll raise the “water level” to $2,000 … then $3,000 and so on and so on until the Blue Ohio community funds are exhausted. Only nominees (the Democratic primary winners) are eligible for funding. We do not fund candidates in the primary or make endorsements – this is a project to make sure Democrats have support to fight fiercely in the general election. While it is difficult for us to imagine a situation in which the primary voters would choose a nominee who our Blue Ohio community would find legally or morally objectionable (i.e., a white supremacist), should a situation like that arise it would be put to a vote of the community members.
How does supporting down-ballot Ohio Democrats boost results statewide?

In 2020, we ran a study and found that having a Democratic nominee for state legislature on the ballot increased the vote share for the top of the ticket by 1.5%. We know from a peer-reviewed study of 20 states that funding a challenger at $0.36 per eligible voter adds a whopping 1% boost to voter turnout!

So there’s a potential 2.5% bump for the top of the ticket if we run and support a Democratic nominee. Statewide, that leads to massive gains up and down the ticket! Bottom line: we can elect more Ohio Democrats. We just need to work together. Ready to get started? We’re glad to have you on board. Click here to join>>

What are some of the "soft benefits" of running a supported Democratic nominee in every Ohio district?

Just by supporting the Democratic nominees that are running for state legislature, Ohio Democrats can build a bigger bench, build up local Democratic infrastructure, make Republicans fight (and spend) everywhere, and spread a progressive message through a local lens.

If we’re serious about reaching voters across all 99 Ohio Districts (and we are), then supporting the Democrats already doing the hard work is the most efficient and effective way to do it.

How much do most people contribute?

The average is just over $14/month. As an added bonus, everyone who contributes at $10/month is eligible to join our monthly team call, featuring David Pepper! They’re always informative and often entertaining – and a great time to ask any questions you have about Ohio politics.

What do I get for contributing?

Most importantly, you know that you’re part of the solution, and you’re doing something really powerful every single month. And – if you’re contributing at $10/month or above, you’re also added to our monthly Blue Ohio Team call, where we get together on Zoom with our Blue Ohio family to talk about recent events, progress, and all things Ohio. It’s a great time to ask David Pepper, former Ohio Democratic Party Chair and Blue Ohio founder, any questions about politics! All donors are added to our Blue Ohio Update email.

What percentage of my donation will Ohio Democratic nominees receive?

100% of your donation to the nominees goes to the nominees. Blue Ohio does not take a percentage. We rely upon tips revenue to grow this movement, and those tips are greatly appreciated! (Hint: Please leave one if you can!)

We’re also completely transparent about credit card processing fees. You may not realize it, but entities like ActBlue deduct credit card processing fees from your donation before sending it to candidates. So the candidate you’re supporting is getting less than you intended! Not with us – 100% of your donation goes exactly where you intended it to go. So if you want your donation to be $10/month, it is $10/month; the $0.57 in processing fees is added to your donation total for a monthly charge of $10.57. If you want your monthly charge to be a flat $10, no problem – just enter $9.44 into the donation field, and together with the processing fees that will all come out to $10/mo.

We also use a processor, Democracy Engine, LLC, that charges a lower percentage in processing fees. While ActBlue collects 3.95% and Kickstarter keeps 5% on top of processing fees, Democracy Engine collects a 3.75% + $0.20 processing fee.

Are you part of the Ohio Democratic party?

No. While we support the efforts of the collection of national, state, and local organizations that make up the Democratic Party, we do not coordinate with them. Our goal is to break radical Republican control, support and elect more Ohio Democrats, and preserve democracy.

Are you doing this kind of project in any other states?

Yes! We have an active project in Missouri and are hard at working bringing this project to other states that could use the same short-term electoral benefit and long-term investment. (The states on our short list of expansion projects include AZ, GA, MI, NC, PA, TX, and WI. If you are interested in discussing any of those states, we’d love to hear from you. Just send an email to info@blueohio.org.)

How does guaranteed funding help us run more nominees?

Fundraising is one of the toughest, and most detested, parts of running for office. It’s even worse for nominees who are in challenging, conservative districts. Eliminating the fundraising barrier means more people are willing to run, which makes recruitment much easier.

How can I help?

Glad you asked! First, you should join! (Do that HERE.) Second, we need people like you from all over the state (and country) to help spread the word. If everyone who asked this question could get five friends to join, we’d be well on our way to amassing the power that Ohio Democrats need.

Also: if you would like us to speak to your local group or organization, just reach out to us at info@blueohio.org.

When will my subscription end?

Democracy is a long game, and we’re in this for the long haul. So unlike most Democratic organizations, we’re not focused on any one cycle. Your subscription will continue until you tell us to stop. Just contact us at info@blueohio.org at any time. We’re very approachable!

How do I stop or change my recurring donation?

Easy! Just contact us at info@blueohio.org at any time. We’re very approachable!

How do I contact you?

You can contact us at info@blueohio.org at any time. We’d love to hear from you. 

Read the Report

Enter your email for a copy of our whitepaper, which explains:

• why downballot races are the most powerful, untapped resource for Democrats,

• how supporting downballot nominees will transform statewide and national races,

• what impact our model would have had on crucial elections (2016 and 2020)

And more!

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