After an extensive process in which all candidates were vetted by our Screening Committee, the Montgomery County Democratic Party is excited to announce candidates selected for endorsement in 2020!
What follows is our slate for 2020 – the best of the best. While we applaud and encourage ALL Democrats who step forward to run and serve, we know that winning in such a gerrymandered landscape takes a herculean effort. Early identification of those candidates who are best positioned for the campaign, and who best represent our voters, makes Democratic success more likely. We thank ALL candidates who participated in the screening process.
Read more about our endorsed candidates below including their social media pages and official campaign websites.
Desiree Tims – Congressional District 10
A native Daytonian and proud Dayton Public Schools alumna, Desiree Tims knows what it means to live in the Miami Valley. Desiree is the first in her family to graduate from a four-year college (Xavier University), and has experience working in Washington, DC, with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Mark Fogel – Ohio Senate District 6
Leadership, commitment, service, and family are values that resonate with Ohio voters, including those living in Ohio’s 6th Senate District. Mark Fogel embodies them all. As a former pilot in the Air Force, a current Lt. Col. in the Air National Guard, and a leader of the program that recruits military veterans for GE Aviation he has shown his commitment to leadership and service. As a graduate of the Air Force Academy and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, not to mention time as a faculty member at the University of Dayton, Mark has demonstrated that he values education. As a husband and father of three, he has shown that family is important, making sure that he carves time out of his busy schedule to spend time with his family.
Willis Blackshear, Jr. – Ohio House District 39
From the tornadoes of May 2019 to the August 2019 mass shooting in Dayton’s historic Oregon District, the people of Dayton and Jefferson Township suffered greatly even before our current challenges began. Willis Blackshear has been involved in public service his entire adult life and now wants to represent his neighbors in Columbus to ensure that education, common sense gun reform, and neighborhood reinvestment are priorities as we work to recover from the last 12 months of devastation.
Leronda Jackson – Ohio House District 40
The voters of northeastern Montgomery County deserve a Representative in Columbus who has a vision for unity and values all members of the community and Leronda Jackson is that person.
Cate Berger – Ohio House District 41
If you feel that education, healthcare, economic development, and sensible gun reform are issues that matter to the people of eastern Montgomery County, we agree with you! As a native Daytonian, Cate has a firm grasp of what the members of her community care about.
Amy Cox – Ohio House District 43
How are issues like education, healthcare, jobs, justice reform, and the environment all connected? To the people of Preble and Western Montgomery counties, these are all issues which affect their daily lives. As a Preble County native, teacher, wife, and mother, Amy Cox is in a unique position to understand those issues and champion them in Columbus.
Judy Dodge – Montgomery County Commissioner
Working in public service since 1985, Dayton native Judy Dodge has seen how government works from a variety of offices. She has experience working with the Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Montgomery County Domestic Relations Court, and as the Montgomery County Recorder. Judy has a passion for vulnerable populations, and has been instrumental in the passage of Montgomery County’s Human Services Levies.
Debbie Lieberman – Montgomery County Commissioner
Focusing on Early Childhood Education, reducing infant mortality and many social justice programs, Debbie Lieberman has been working for more than three decades to help the people of Montgomery County live better lives. As a member of the Learn to Earn Dayton Executive Committee and as co-chair of the Montgomery County Reentry Policy Board Debbie works to ensure that all of the citizens of Montgomery County have opportunities to live their best lives.
Zach Dickerson – Montgomery County Clerk of Courts
On a daily basis, the Clerk of Courts works to support the judges you elect and the attorneys who practice in front of them. A core responsibility of the Clerk is to manage the legal technology used by both. Zach Dickerson has more than a decade of experience in legal technology, a passion for helping others use it efficiently, and experience leading teams to success.
Paul Gruner – Montgomery County Engineer
Serving as our county’s Engineer for the last 9 years, Paul has brought his 40+ years of experience as a Professional Engineer and Professional Surveyor to bear in our community. He and his staff deliver the Engineering needs for the 9 townships within the county, as well as maintaining and improving 320 miles of roadways and 541 bridges.
Mat Heck, Jr. – Montgomery County Prosecutor
Mat Heck Jr. has been a leader in our community since he began serving the public almost 55 years ago as a Law Clerk with the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office. Since first being elected in 1992, he has built a reputation for effective and efficient prosecution while protecting the rights, property, and well-being of the citizens of Montgomery County. Recently, Mat Heck, Jr. publicly stood against the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman while three other policemen observed and participated. We can depend on Prosecutor Mat Heck, Jr. to hold criminals accountable, regardless of their professions.
Brandon McClain – Montgomery County Recorder
With experience as both a magistrate and acting judge in Dayton Municipal Court, as well as experience in the public defenders office, Brandon is qualified to ensure that critically important documents in our County are recorded efficiently and professionally. Since being appointed to his current post in March of 2018, Brandon has worked to implement new programs, such as the Fraud Alert Notification System, which help protect our community from predatory activity. We support Brandon McClain for another term as Recorder because he embodies democratic values every day!
Russ Joseph – Montgomery County Treasurer
As your Montgomery County Treasurer, Russ Joseph is protecting our tax dollars, harnessing the latest technology to improve customer service, and championing the Montgomery County Land Bank as an excellent tool to help our local communities turn delinquent properties back to productive use. As a graduate of Carroll High School and UD, a member of the Associate Board for the Dayton Art Institute, and a former Trustee of the Oregon Historic District (where his family resides), Russ has been a lifelong Daytonian and has dedicated his life to service of his community.
Marshall Lachman for Judge of the Court of Appeals, 2nd District
For the last 16 years, Marshall’s private law practice has focused on criminal defense litigation and he is often appointed by area courts to represent clients who cannot afford counsel. He is certified to work as a Guardian Ad Litem and has represented the interests of children in Montgomery County who have been victims of abuse, neglect, and dependency. He has also mentored newly licensed lawyers through the Ohio Supreme Court’s Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program.
Susan Solle for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas
As a native Daytonian, Susan Solle is dedicated to fair representation in Montgomery County. She has been a volunteer leader with both Legal Aid and Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, an adjunct professor with the U.D. School of Law, and has even served as an Acting Judge with the Montgomery County Municipal Court. She held the office of President of the Dayton Bar Association and routinely works with Ohio Promote the Vote to protect the right to vote for all registered voters.
Arvin Miller for Probate Judge
As a Probate Magistrate for 12 years, Arvin Miller has the experience to handle sensitive and charged situations with compassion and respect. He is also a court mediator for the Probate Court which means he works to bring families or opposing parties together to resolve their disputes amicably without a court hearing. Educating the public and using his legal knowledge to aid his community has been a part of who he is for over 30 years.