© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Former Ohio Rep. Kathleen Clyde Featured As 'Rising Star' At DNC

Former state Rep. Kathleen Clyde of Portage County
Nick Evans
Former state Rep. Kathleen Clyde of Portage County

A county commissioner and former state lawmaker is set to take center stage during Tuesday night's virtual Democratic National Convention. Kathleen Clyde, of Portage County, will be featured as one of the party's "Rising Stars."

Clyde will be among 17 prominent figures highlighted during the DNC, along with other leaders such as former Georgia gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams and U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pennsylvania). 

"I think this invitation came about because Joe Biden recognizes the importance of Ohio in sending him to the White House," Clyde said. "I think that, because of extreme gerrymandering and money in our political system that weighs heavily toward the GOP, I think people may think this state is more Republican than it actually is."

Clyde, who currently serves as Portage County Commissioner, spent eight years in the Ohio House before losing her race for Ohio Secretary of State in 2018. She says this lineup at the DNC puts a spotlight on new leaders and the ideas they stand for. 

"This is about the future of the party and how much Joe Biden is invested in young leaders and in growing and promoting our bench across the country including here in battleground Ohio," Clyde says. 

Clyde says the people of her county, which voted for Barack Obama and Biden twice before voting for Donald Trump, are now disillusioned with Trump's leadership. She's also confident about some recent polls that give Biden the edge in the state.

"He's been to Ohio, Ohio voters know him," Clyde says. "He was part of a ticket that won Ohio twice."

She says Biden will be appealing to voters because "he fought for the auto recovery, which is in stark contrast right now to what President Trump represents to this region."

Trump supporters defend the president, saying he had a good economic record before the pandemic hit.

Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich was featured at the DNC on Monday night, urging independents and Republicans to vote for Biden over Trump.