We’re not sure but State Representative Connie Pillich just might be an indestructible cyborg.
Connie Pillich was first elected to the Ohio House of Representatives during the Strickland midterm/Obama elections in 2008 in which the Democrats took control of the House… on the district maps drawn by the Republicans.
She first stood for re-election in 2010 – a year in which the Democrats had, um, a bit of a setback. Her opponent, Mike Wilson, was the founder of the Cincinnati Tea Party- which was kind of a thing back in 2010, like parachute pants were in late 1980s.
Although the Democrats wound up losing their majority in 2010, when Connie Pillich saw the final results posted she was ahead by five votes. Once provisional ballots were counted and an automatic recount conducted, Pillich prevailed by 602 votes.
Given the closeness of this race, it was all but certain that Pillich and her district would be one of the top targets of Republican-controlled redistricting. And Wilson would be lined up to run against her in the new, Republican leaning district.
Wilson, after all, was still being a loyal soldier to John Kasich’s agenda, having organized one of the few pro-SB 5 rallies at the Statehouse (just look at that crowd!):
Connie Pillich had a target on her back and John Kasich and his Republican buddies wanted her gone. If they couldn’t beat Connie Pillich at the polls, they’d draw Connie Pillich out of the House.
Pillach considered a run for Congress against Jean Schmidt and/or Steve Chabot but she decided she’d run for re-election in a rematch with Wilson instead because, apparently, Connie Pillich is the honey badger of the Ohio Democratic caucus. If John Kasich seriously thought having to knock on a few new doors in Hamilton County would scare off this Air Force veteran, well, the Governor just doesn’t know Connie Pillich.
Pillich campaigned her district hard, going door-to-door, trying to win a district that was customer drawn for her opponent to win, and with the House GOP caucus targeting her above any other House Democratic incumbent.
And how did Connie Pillich do against the pro-SB 5/Tea Party leader in the new, more “Republican” district?
Pillich won by 4,851 votes with over 50% of the vote.
Connie Pillich was targeted by the House GOP money machine and beat them on their own map. That’s why we’re convinced Connie Pillich must be an indestructible cyborg.
And we at Plunderbund would just like to say that we welcome our indestructible legislating cyborg overlords.
In other Hamilton County news last night, yesterday voters elected a new sheriff to replace retiring Sheriff Simon Leis, who’s been sheriff for roughly 25 years and a major Republican figure from back when Hamilton County was a reliably red county in Ohio. Leis endorsed his chief deputy Sean Donovan to replace him.
For those you who don’t immediately know who Simon Leis is, he’s a social culture warrior with the badge that tried to drive Larry Flynt’s Hustler magazine out of Cincinnati. You might also remember him from the Mapplethorpe controversy in 1990, when Leis had the director of the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center and the Center itself indicted on obscenity charges over the exhibit (they were acquitted of all charges.)
The artistic community and Flynt would have their revenge though. When the movie The People v. Larry Flynt was made, they cast James Carville to play Leis.
Anyway, Sheriff Simon Leis, shortly before announcing his retirement also publicly endorsed Issue 2 last year (SB 5), after the conservative sheriffs in Butler and Warren Counties refused to publicly support it. Sean Donovan, Leis’ successor shot a video supporting Issue 2 as well. We’d embed it, but someone has turned the video to “private” so it can’t be viewed on YouTube anymore… probably because after Issue’s 2 defeat Donovan realized that his support of Issue 2 may be an issue.
Well, after a quarter of the a century in GOP control… there’s a new sheriff in town. Democrat Jim Neil defeated Donovan by seven points, despite being heavily outspent 14:1.
So a Tea Party leader who supported SB 5 lost a rematch in a distract drawn for him to win after he narrowly lost in the old district by only 600 votes, and the GOP’s successor lost a Sheriff’s office they held for a quarter of a century despite the outgoing sheriff’s support and a huge fundraising advantage.
Hey, you don’t think their support of SB 5 might have been a factor, do you?
Neil was the union-endorsed candidate. Donovan lost police support last year after supporting Senate Bill 5, Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s 2011 attempt to limit collective bargaining by public employees.
Still, it’s possible that Pillich is an indestructible cyborg, right?