Ohio SoS Candidate Who Moved to Keep Trump Off 2020 Ballot Vows to 'Impact' Election if She Wins
Ohio has long been known as a battleground state because it often plays a pivotal role in deciding presidential elections. Although the state has a mere 18 electoral votes, Ohio is often a barometer of the nation's political mood. A down-ticket race that hasn't garnered much national attention — but should — is the contest to be Ohio's next secretary of state. Two state lawmakers, Republican Frank LaRose and Democrat Kathleen Clyde, are vying for the position that the Democratic candidate has said could impact the 2020 presidential election.
Kathleen Clyde, who, as a member of the Ohio House introduced the TRUMP Act last year to try and force President Trump to release his tax returns, has vowed to play a role in the 2020 presidential election should she win next Tuesday. Clyde, who did not return PJM's request for a comment, said in February, “It is a very powerful and important position, impacting the presidential election because of our importance as a battleground state and the redistricting process” [emphasis added]. She explained, “It matters who runs the elections in this critical state.”
LaRose, 39, is a combat veteran and U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret, who earned a Bronze Star for his service in Iraq. The father of three has served in the Ohio Senate since 2011. Clyde, also 39, has served in the Ohio House since 2011. A lawyer by trade, Clyde, according to her website, is a "dedicated defender of voters and voting rights" who "wants to take her life’s work to the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office to secure and modernize Ohio elections so every Ohioan’s vote counts."
A Baldwin-Wallace University poll earlier this month showed the race in a dead heat, with LaRose and Clyde deadlocked at 32.6 percent. A Libertarian candidate, Dustin Hanna, had 7.2 percent, while nearly a third of voters were undecided, likely owing to the fact that neither candidate had statewide name recognition going into the contest.
The fact that impacting the election is on Clyde's mind "should give every Ohioan great cause for concern," LaRose told PJM. "Let me be clear. The secretary of state does not get to impact Ohio's election, the voters do." LaRose added that if he's elected to be Ohio's next chief elections officer, he "will run fair elections, assuring that the voices of Ohioans are heard."
But Democrats clearly have a different idea. That's why Democrats far and wide — from Hillary Clinton to Elizabeth Warren to Eric Holder to Tom Steyer — are focusing their attention on the race and pouring pallets full of cash into it.
Grant Schaffer, LaRose's campaign manager, told PJM, "We're facing an unprecedented wave of out-of-state spending in the secretary of state's race. National figures like George Soros, Donald Sussman, Eric Holder, Tom Steyer and his wife, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and Hilary Clinton have all made large personal investments in the race." All, he said, "have publicly stated interests in defeating Trump or want to run for president themselves." He said outside groups like OMG-WTF and iVote are targeting the race.