David Pepper

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If there was one word to describe Ohio Party Chairman Chris Redfern on Election night, it would be “angry.”

Redfern lambasted Statehouse reporters and the newspapers that employ them for pulling web versions of stories and videos that were not flattering to Republicans. And he lashed out for what he saw as a media obsession on the bombshell revelation that came out around Labor Day that Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald had been driving for most of a decade without a valid driver’s license.

Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

It wasn’t a surprise.  David Pepper received unanimous backing from executive committee members Tuesday night to become the new chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party.

The party’s executive committee met Tuesday night in Columbus. In the end, it was a sweep for Pepper, after his opponent, former lieutenant governor candidate Sharen Neuhardt of Dayton, dropped out of the race Monday.

Pepper says he thinks the party needs to more clearly define its core message of supporting working Ohioans.

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Cincinnati's David Pepper will be the new Ohio Democratic Party chairman now that his only opponent for the job has dropped out of the race.

Sharen Neuhardt, the Dayton Democrat who was the losing candidate for lieutenant governor this year, sent an e-mail to her supporters today (Monday) saying she was getting out of the race to replace state party chairman Chris Redfern. Redfern resigned after the November election, when the Democrats lost all statewide races.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the increasing likelihood that Cincinnati's David Pepper will become the new Ohio Democratic Party chairman Tuesday night.

It is looking more and more probable that when the Ohio Democratic Party’s executive committee meets Tuesday night in Columbus, it will pick Cincinnati’s David Pepper as the new state party chairman.

And Pepper – the former city council member and Hamilton County commissioner who ran and lost the race for Ohio Attorney General this year – will then have the unenviable task of picking up the pieces of a political party that was shattered in this year’s election.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with Maryanne Zeleznik about three Cincinnati Democrats who could play a role in re-building the Ohio Democratic Party.

Yes, the Nov. 4 election was a complete train wreck for the Ohio Democratic Party.

The gubernatorial candidate, Ed FitzGerald, was so abysmally weak that he took only 33 percent of the vote again incumbent Republican John Kasich – the worst drubbing of a Democratic candidate for governor since an unknown state senator named Rob Burch had 25 percent of the vote against popular GOP incumbent George Voinovich in 1994.

The US Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case was a win for those who objected to the federal health care law’s requirement that the company offer insurance that covers contraceptives for women – and that includes Ohio’s Attorney General.

Mike DeWine is an avowed opponent of the Affordable Care Act and wrote a brief that was signed by Republican Attorneys General from 19 other states. DeWine said though it was a narrow decision, it was a significant one:

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Former Hamilton County commissioner and Cincinnati councilman David Pepper has launched his campaign to unseat Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Monday, his campaign filed papers with the Ohio Secretary of State's office, so he can begin raising money for the 2014 campaign; and has launched a campaign website.

Pepper, who was in Cleveland Monday, told WVXU he wants "to be a real advocate for the working people of Ohio."

Michael Keating

On Friday night, at the Columbus Athenaeum, the Ohio Democratic Democratic Party will hold its annual "Legacy Dinner," one of the party's largest fundraising events of the year.

"Let's celebrate our 2014 talent,'' says the announcement on the party's website, ohiodems.org.

In other words, it is a "cattle call" for potential statewide candidates.

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