Gala Update: “Butler County Democrats, you’re either up or you’re getting up!”

Democrats in Butler County were treated to a rousing speech from U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan on Sunday evening, as well as an evening of candidate speeches, fellowship and food. 

The evening started with a private reception, where attendees had the opportunity to mingle with speakers and their fellow Democrats. Attendees also had the opportunity to browse the silent auction items, including hand-crafted BCDP swag and a vintage Democrat purse.

Butler Democratic Party Chair Brian Hester welcomed attendees to the Gala, reminding that the night was “a celebration of the progress we made in beginning to turn this county Democratic, to honor and reward some of the incredible volunteers who helped made our progress possible, hear from some of the candidates this year and of course, help raise money to continue to build a stronger Democratic Party here in Butler County.” The large group of attendees included candidates, volunteers, supporters, and table sponsors IBEW Local 648 COPE Committee, United Steel Workers District 1, Hamilton Municipal Court Judge Dan Gattermeyer, Board of Elections and former County Party Chair Frank Cloud and Board of Elections Deputy Director Eric Corbin,the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Counciland the Dayton AFL-CIO Labor Council.

Chair Hester’s keynote speech spoke to the date as being International Women’s Day, reminding us that just 100 years ago women did not have the right to cast a ballot for any elected office except for school board, and reminded us that “virtually anything is subject to change”. While we think of Butler County as being a deep red county, our efforts are making a difference in local elections, and we can make a difference in our state elections this year as well as the Presidential election. 

Hester next introduced our Regional Chairs who in turn introduced our state and Congressional candidates:

State Representative 
Chuck Horn (52nd District)

State Representative (53rd District)
Michelle E. Novak

State Senator (4th District)
Kathy Wyenandt

Representative to Congress (8th District)
Vanessa Enoch

Not attending were State Representative (54th District), Morgan Showen and Representative to Congress (8th District), Matt Guyette.

The candidates all spoke passionately about why they are running, and their desire to represent Butler County residents in the government. Watch our website in the coming weeks as we feature the candidates so you can learn more about their platforms and how you can help in the election process and get out the vote efforts.

Next, we heard from Candidates for Justice of the Supreme Court John P. O’Donnell and Jennifer Brunner. Judge O’Donnell spoke eloquently about the importance of having an independent judicial system, and cautioned against the danger of partisan politics in the court. Former Secretary of State Brunner spoke about gerrymandering in the state of Ohio, and how that came to be, which underlines the importance of electing Democratic Justices to the Ohio Supreme Court. 

The highlight of the evening was U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan. Congressman Ryan encouraged us to stay in the fight and said “I couldn’t be more impressed with the candidates that you have running for political office” in Butler County. He ended his speech with an anecdote about Muhammed Ali and told us “Butler County Democrats, you’re either up or you’re getting up!”.

Finally, the Gala and the BCDP also recognized key supporters with the following awards:

Volunteer of the Year Female: Sue Fuson

Volunteer of the Year Male: Joe Wittman

Democrat of the Year: Brittany Maloney

Precinct Executive of the Year: Nancy Griffith

Regional Chair of the Year: Dominick Lijoi

We want to thank all of the Butler County Democrats who attended and supported the 2020 Gala. And to give thanks to our Fundraising committee: Brittany Maloney, Amanda Schuster, Tammy Cuevas, Pam Gattermeyer, Lisa Petrolo and Sue Fuson.