Republicans currently have a stranglehold on Ohio state politics, with the governor's mansion and super-majorities in both houses leading to the passage of some of the most regressive legislation in the country, particularly when it comes to guns. 2017 saw the votes on legislation allowing medical professionals to carry firearms and expanding the right to concealed carry, putting more guns in more hands in more places than ever before. On the rare occasion that gun reform legislation was introduced by Democrats, the bills died in committee.
Re-taking the Ohio House for the first time since 2010 may be a stretch goal, but one thing Democrats can certainly accomplish this year is an improvement over the status quo, not just by flipping red districts, but by improving representation in blue ones. Once such district where that improvement is needed is the Cleveland-based 14th, where incumbent Democrat Martin Sweeney is taking his underwhelming record on guns to the race for state Senate,. In the process, he leaves open a seat where he ran unopposed two years ago and where Hillary Clinton won 63% of the vote.
Sweeney's preferred replacement is his daughter, and that has set off a minor local controversy. While these machinations are tangential to my efforts here, I encourage those interested in the details to read Mark Naymik's piece for Cleveland.com.
Sweeney's wishes aside, we believe the best Democrat running in the May 8 primary is 30 year old prosecutor and Judicial Attorney Rick Raley.
In these positions, Rick has fought to enforce gun laws and written court opinions that uphold reasonable gun regulations. As a candidate, Rick has expressed his commitment to getting guns off the streets, passing reasonable anti-gun violence regulations, and treating gun violence as a public health issue. He opposes Ohio's decades-long move to end reasonable gun regulation, which includes bills that Mr. Sweeney had sponsored during his tenure.
There are four Democrats running for this seat, and with no Republican on the ballot, the winner of the May 8 primary will go to the Ohio House. The 14th is perfect example of why gun safety advocates need not only more Democrats, but better Democrats. Rick Raley is a better Democrat, and we are happy to endorse his candidacy.
You can follow this race on Rick Raley's page HERE.