SIDNEY — A “family” cookout officially opened the Shelby County Democrat Party’s 2018 headquarters Thursday night. The office is located at 128 N. Main Ave.
With Thomas Kerrigan cooking up the brats and hot dogs, he thanked and welcomed everyone who attended the event.
“This is the kickoff of getting our headquarters up and running,” said Kerrigan.”We have the opportunity to motivate young people. This is our chance.”
Kerrigan said there are less than 3,000 registered Democrats in Shelby County.
“Some switched parties to get various people elected,” he said.
Kerrigan said there are 44 licensed attorneys in Shelby County. He is the only Democrat that isn’t a judge or a retired judge.
“They all switched to get elected,” said Kerrigan.
Other officials in the local party also spoke the event.
“We want the people in Shelby County to know the Democratic Party is alive in Shelby County,” said Merrill Asher, party co-chairman.
Mark Mabelitini, treasurer, said the volunteers need to “identify with the people who identify with us.”
He plans to have a Democrat Party even every other month to increase the number of people supporting the Democratic candidates.
“I want to see us doing things that relate to family things,” he said.
While there are no local candidates up for re-election this year, there are state races which will impact Shelby County voters and residents.
Attending the opening were Joe Monbeck, Celina, who is running for Ohio’s 84th House of Representatives seat, and a representative for Janet Garrett’s campaign. Garrett is seeking the 4th District House of Representative seat currently held by Republican Jim Jordan.
The 84th District, said Monbeck, includes the northern part of Shelby County.
“I can always use help knocking on doors,” said Monbeck. “Oct. 9 is the last day for people to register to vote. Early voting begins Oct. 10.”
Monbeck said he and his two brothers were raised in a single mom family in Celina. He understands the importance of a having good workers for the county and nation’s employers.
“We need good paying jobs, good infrastructure, education and health care, which should be supplied to everybody,” he said.
“I think Columbus should redistribute the rainy day fund money to local county health departments,” he said.
He said while growing up, if he wanted something, he had to work for it.
“I’ve had a job since I was 12 years old,” he said, while telling those in attendance who have given him their endorsement in the election.
Brad Greek, of St. Paris, was representing Janet Garrett, who was in Cleveland at a fundraiser with former President Barack Obama.
“I got involved with Janet’s campaign last winter,” said Greek. “She has three main concerns: the opioid crisis, education and making small businesses more viable.”
He said volunteers are needed to canvass the area and to do postcard writing.
“There’s lots of opportunities to get involved,” said Greek.
He said it was important to reach out to the independent voters to get them to vote for Garrett in November.
“We need to get excited about election,” said June Laughlin. “The blue wave is coming. This election will affect your life for the rest of your life.”
The headquarters will be open from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. The office will be closed on Sundays.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.