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Meet the Candidates.

Iris E. Harvey, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, sits down with candidates across Ohio to talk with them about their campaign and how they will advocate for women's rights.

Meet Kathleen Clyde, candidate for Ohio Secretary of State

Meet Kathleen Clyde, candidate for Ohio Secretary of State.

Kathleen Clyde is running for Ohio Secretary of State. Kathleen has been supporting women’s rights and Planned Parenthood in the Ohio General Assembly since 2011. She’s running in a competitive race with a chance to join other statewide candidates and bring help to end gerrymandering and protect fair elections in our state. Check out some snippets from my conversation with her and I hope you will join me in supporting her candidacy!

You’ve been a champion of women for years in the state house. Tell us a little about your accomplishments in support of women.

Kathleen: “A healthy state begins with healthy families. We’re better than the extreme attacks we’ve seen on health care from our legislature, from restricting women’s reproductive health care and defunding Planned Parenthood to pushing roadblocks for Medicaid. I’ve always supported health care access, especially for women, their families and Ohioans with pre-existing conditions. As partisan politicians play to the extremes, it’s everyday Ohioans who suffer. We need new leadership, those who will fight for health care access, so we can move our state forward.”

Kathleen, we are so excited to hear about your candidacy for Ohio Secretary of State. Tell us a little about what you hope to accomplish in the position?

Kathleen: “The secretary of state is the chief election official for the state who works to ensure elections are fair and secure. I support automatic voter registration that will ensure Ohio has the most thorough, accurate, and secure list of eligible voters so that everyone who wants to cast a ballot can do so. The office also registers businesses and I am committed to fostering a more business-friendly environment in Ohio, especially for women and people of color.

“The office also has a seat on the Ohio Redistricting Commission, along with the auditor and governor. Ohio has some of the most gerrymandered districts in the country and we must bring fair districts back to Ohio.”

We’re less than two weeks away from Election Day. How is your campaign going?

Kathleen: “I am excited about the energy of our campaign. We just reached 22,000 individual contributions to our race. The momentum is on our side. If supporters are looking for ways to help, we encourage them to make a contribution. They can also find five friends and all go vote together. Turnout is going to be critical.”

“Women will make the difference in this election if they show up in the numbers we need. I am looking forward to serving the people of Ohio.” 

Meet Zack Space, candidate for Ohio Auditor

Meet Zack Space, candidate for Ohio Auditor

Zack Space is running for Ohio Auditor. Zack is intelligent, capable, and committed to help all the people of Ohio and will be the champion that Planned Parenthood needs. He’s running in a competitive race with a chance to join other statewide candidates and bring real change to our state government. Check out some snippets from my conversation with him and I hope you will join me in supporting his candidacy!

Zack it’s good to see you again. It sounds like your campaign is going really well and we’d like to hear about some of the things that you will do as auditor.

Zack: “The auditor’s position is important for a number of reasons. There’s the traditional role - the auditor plays a critical role ensuring taxpayer dollars are being used efficiently, soundly, and in accordance with the law. Beyond this, and this is where I diverge with my opponent, the auditor plays a very critical role in the redistricting process that is constitutionally mandated and a requirement for any growing representational democracy. In Ohio we have politicized this process. By hyper-partisanizing these districts, politicians have created districts where extremism is thriving. This extremism is rendering government dysfunctional, which is in turn feeding the cynicism people have towards government.

“The auditor, secretary of state, and governor sit on the redistricting panel.”

And when does this redistricting decision-making happen?

Zack: “After the 2020 census. I am committed to depoliticizing this process and will strive for representational fairness.

“Along with redistricting, the auditor, as a watchdog of taxpayer money, has a constitutional responsibility to do something about the use of taxpayer dollars to pay off donors. I see people lose confidence and faith in government in much the same way gerrymandering does when we favor wealthier individuals at the expense of us all. I see this loss of confidence as a crisis in Ohio that we have an obligation to do something about. For example, I am committed to using the powers of this office to stop the perversion of our public education system in Ohio on behalf of for-profit charter schools.”

It seems like you have a lot to do in the auditor’s office. Are you feeling good about the campaign?

Zack: “I feel really good about it. We’ve been campaigning 16 months now non-stop. We’ve raised more money than my opponent. If we all vote, we all win. Too many people don’t participate because they’ve lost faith. The more that sentiment gains steam, the more it becomes a self-fulling prophecy and we must stop it now.”

The way to stop it is to elect new people to office and you’re running hard and fast and it sounds like you’re close to success.

Zack: “We working hard to ensure everyone gets out to vote. It is time for a change and to start down a new path in Ohio where everybody matters.”

What is the auditor’s responsibility in safeguarding health care for women and what should we look for to know you’re standing with women, and health, and reproductive care?

Zack: “If we can end partisan gerrymandering, we will end extremism, and end the regressive policies that have been so damaging to many in Ohio, including women, people of color, and low-income Ohioans. The auditor also has oversight over Medicaid, ensuring the money is being spent properly and not being manipulated to benefit donors.”

Meet Aftab Pureval, candidate for OH-01 Congressional District

Aftab Pureval is running for Congress in Ohio’s 1st District in Cincinnati. Aftab is passionate, engaged, dedicated to empowering and uplifting women, and will be the champion that Planned Parenthood needs in the United States House of Representatives! Even better, he is running the most competitive race in the state, with a real chance to flip a House seat from red to blue! Check out some snippets from my conversation with him and I hope you will join me in supporting his candidacy!

We are so excited to hear about your candidacy and that you’re running for Congress.  Tell us a little about why, and what is your goal in seeking this position?

Aftab: “I have heard from so many people across the district who are excited to have a young, diverse candidate stand up. We are in one of the most critical moments in our nation’s history and in my district, we have a Republican incumbent who has shown us time and time again that he will vote to take people’s healthcare away and it’s just not fair.  It’s time for people to step off the sidelines and into the arena.”

Tell me a little about how you see your candidacy as something that will advance the needs of women and why it’s important to you personally.

Aftab: “It’s critically important and it’s more than just rhetoric.  I am proud of having a track record of championing and working on issues that are important to women.  When I was in law school, I worked at the legal aid domestic violence clinic, representing battered women who couldn’t afford an attorney.  Most recently, I was the first man appointed to the Cincinnati Women’s Fund, so I am passionate about economic self-sufficiency for women.  In the Clerk’s office, I am really proud of the fact that I’m the first county-wide executive in the state to offer comprehensive paid family leave to employees and instituted a livable wage. When we talk about healthcare, it’s the number one issue across the district and Planned Parenthood does so much to ensure that women have access to affordable healthcare. We need a stronger champion in DC to make sure that’s true for everyone in the district, not just the wealthy few.”

How is your campaign going?

Aftab: “It’s going incredibly well.  Just today, the Cook Political Report upgraded our race to a toss-up. We are one of the top 20 races in the country to win back the House. With just about 70 days to go, we’re feeling incredibly optimistic.”

What will it take to move it from a toss-up to a win?

Aftab: “The 3 Ms – (1) Mobilization – we need people to knock on doors or make phone calls; (2) Messaging – people who can share our message on Facebook, email out to their family and friends, shout it from the rooftop; and finally, (3) Money – if folks can help support us financially to make sure we have the resources to reach the far corners of the district.  Here’s the thing: We are right about the issues, we just need the support to get our message out there to champion what we believe is right and ultimately to win.”

Thank you, Aftab, for running to represent women’s needs, particularly reproductive rights and health care, in Congress!  We wish you the best and look forward to celebrating your victory in November!

Meet Danny O'Connor, candidate for OH-12 Congressional District

Danny O’Connor is running for Congress in Ohio’s 12th District in Central Ohio. Danny is an Ohio native, who has used his career to help serve and better his community. Danny is passionate about health care and supports the vital services Planned Parenthood health centers provide the women, men, and young people across Ohio. On August 7, Danny lost a special election by .8%. He has a real chance to flip a House seat from red to blue! Check out some snippets from my conversation with him and I hope you will join me in supporting his candidacy!

I am so excited about your candidacy. I think this is going to be a wonderful opportunity to get to know more about you. Tell me why you are running and what you expect to achieve with this run and when you get into office.

Danny: “We need new leadership in Washington, D.C. because what we have right now isn’t working. There isn’t a focus on delivering access to health care. There isn’t a focus on creating economic opportunity. We see wage inequality across our country, women who make .73 cents on the dollar as opposed to what a man makes. That needs to change. And we need to change Washington if we’re going to do that. 

“Right now we have a system where working families have to make tough decisions every single day about what they have to do with their resources, about what they do with their money. They have to make those tough decisions because Washington won’t make tough decisions and that’s something we need to change. The only way we can do that is change who we send there.”

Absolutely. So tell me what you attribute to the success of your campaign. You came so close on August 7! How are you going to push yourself over the finish line this November?

Danny: “We’ve got so many friends, allies, and partners. Obviously Planned Parenthood has been right there with us, fighting hard to make sure we elect someone who goes to Washington who wants to deliver real results for people. We have a grassroots army of folks who have been knocking on doors, calling their neighbors, and talking to their friends about why they need to have real representation in Washington. Things need to change. We need to have new leadership in Washington, D.C. and it starts this November.”

Great. Tell me how women’s health fits into your agenda and what you think you can bring to our administrative and legislative processes to help women improve their health. And why is it important to you personally?

Danny: “It’s a pinnacle part of my campaign. My mom is a breast cancer survivor and she was able to beat breast cancer because she had access to good, quality health care. And when I see people who want to role back the Affordable Care Act, who want to take away care for folks, like my mom, who have preexisting conditions, it makes me upset. Those are folks who need a champion, who need someone who will fight for them. And that is what I want to do. It’s institutions like Planned Parenthood who provide so much preventative care, who provide screenings for breast cancer and cervical cancer, so many services for families and women who need that care. It is important they have someone who is going to have their back. And I’ll have their back.”

What is it going to take to move this toss up and turn it into a win?

Danny: “We’re going to have to knock on as many doors as we can. We’re going to have to talk to as many friends and neighbors as we can. We’ve seen a culture in Washington, D.C. that doesn’t work. We’ve seen a congress that does not move the ball forward for working families. We’ve see chaos in The White House and if we’re going to have some semblance of sanity in our country, it starts with November. It starts with each person getting out their walking shoes, grabbing a clip board, and having conversations with their neighbors about the Washington we deserve.”

We’re so proud to know that you stand for women and that you stand with Planned Parenthood. We wish you the best and look forward to celebrating your victory in November!