Prizm News / September 7, 2018 / By Bob Vitale
Rob Richardson, Kathleen Clyde and Zack Space at the Columbus Pride parade on June 16, 2018. (Clyde campaign photo via Facebook)

Candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer and auditor ‘will work to ensure that every Ohioan is equally protected,’ group says.


By Bob Vitale

The Human Rights Campaign, already in the middle of a campaign to get pro-equality Ohioans to the polls in November, has some suggestions on who to vote for once you get there.

HRC endorsed the rest of Ohio’s Democratic Party slate for statewide offices yesterday.

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Its backing of Democrats Kathleen Clyde for secretary of state, Rob Richardson for state treasurer and Zack Space for state auditor rounds out the nationwide LGBTQ civil-rights organization’s earlier endorsements of gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray and running mate Betty Sutton, as well as attorney general candidate Steve Dettelbach.

“We are proud to endorse their candidacies and look forward to mobilizing our thousands of members and supporters across the Buckeye State to turn out for equality in November,” said Shawn Copeland, HRC’s state director in Ohio.

Through its HRC Rising mobilization effort in Ohio and five other states the organization seeks to reach millions of so-called “equality voters” who are either members of the LGBTQ community or who strongly support issues such as expanding state nondiscrimination laws to cover sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

Ohioans will elect a new governor and lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer and auditor on Tuesday, Nov. 6. The deadline to register or change your registration is Tuesday, Oct. 9. Early voting by mail or at county election centers starts on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

Copeland said Clyde, Richardson and Space, like Cordray, Sutton and Dettelbach are pro-equality candidates who “will work to ensure that every Ohioan is equally protected under state law.”

Clyde is currently a state representative from Kent. She is a cosponsor of House Bill 160, which would add gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation to Ohio’s anti-discrimination laws.

Space, who’s from the Tuscarawas County town of Dover, represented a Central and Southwest Ohio district in Congress from 2007 to 2011. During his two terms, he voted to add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal hate-crimes and nondiscrimination laws, and he voted to repeal the ban on military service by openly gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans.

Richardson, a lawyer from Cincinnati who served as a University of Cincinnati trustee from 2008 to 2017, told the HRC that he would ensure Ohio’s state investments go to companies and initiatives that support LGBTQ equality.

HRC also has made endorsements in other Ohio elections:

• U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat seeking re-election, who is a cosponsor of federal legislation that would outlaw discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

• Aftab Pureval, a Democrat from Cincinnati who is challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District. Pureval, a former federal prosecutor who now serves as Hamilton County clerk of courts, supports expanding federal nondiscrimination laws. Chabot told Cincinnati Right to Life in a candidate survey they he still opposes marriage equality and would fight to let religious conservatives discriminate against LGBTQ people.

• U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty, a Democrat from Columbus who’s seeking re-election in the state’s 3rd Congressional District.

• U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, a Democrat from Toledo who’s seeking re-election in the 9th Congressional District.

• Danny O’Connor, a Democrat from Columbus who’s challenging U.S. Rep. Troy Balderson in the 12th Congressional District. O’Connor, who’s currently the Franklin County recorder, narrowly lost a special election in August to serve out the term vacated early this year by Republican Pat Tiberi. In an interview with The Columbus Dispatch this summer, Balderson said he couldn’t think of any disagreement he has with President Donald Trump.

• U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, a Democrat who’s seeking re-election in the 13th Congressional District.

• Betsy Rader, a Democrat from Geauga County who’s challenging U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce in the 14th Congressional District. Rader, the mother of two gay sons, supports nondiscrimination legislation; Joyce does not.

• Rick Neal, a Democrat from Columbus who’s challenging U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers in the 15th Congressional District. Neal would be Ohio’s first openly gay member of Congress. Stivers has served in Congress for eight years and has opposed every piece of pro-LGBTQ legislation during his tenure, according to the HRC.
Twitter: @Bob_Vitale


Bob Vitale
A Toledo native and graduate of Toledo Public Schools, Bob has worked as a local government and politics reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, as a Washington correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and as editor-in-chief for Outlook Ohio. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from Ball State University and a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.