Area politics: Gibbs, Shelby County back in national news


Chris Gibbs, the head of the Shelby County Democratic Party who gained fame in national media following a series of columns critical of then-President Trump in 2018, is back in the spotlight.

Gibbs’ efforts to rebuild the party in staunchly-Republican Shelby County was the subject of an opinion piece by New York Times writer Farah Stockman. The column is titled, “Can This Ex-Republican Revive Democrats in Rural Ohio?”

Stockman and NYT photographer Damon Winter were in the area in the first week of May reporting on Gibbs. Both were in attendance at the party’s Jefferson/Jackson dinner on May 2 at Sidney Elks Lodge.

The column recounts Gibbs’ departure from the Republican Party, his rise to fame and his transformation into the local Democratic chairman. He once held that position for the Shelby County Republican Party.

Gibbs is trying to help the Democratic Party gain traction across rural Ohio, which has turned more staunchly Republican in recent years.

Gibbs also appeared on CNN on Wednesday night and discussed his background and current efforts.

He has appeared on numerous national television programs since 2018 and has previously been covered in NYT articles.

Many photographs by Winter featured area residents, including pictures of The Spot in downtown Sidney and the Airstream factory in Jackson Center.

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