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26th of May 2018

Politics



Former city councilman named Lucas County Democratic Party chairman

A former Toledo city councilman is the Lucas County Democratic Party’s overwhelming choice to be its next chairman.

Kurt Young, a private attorney who spent less than seven months of 2017 on the council, was the near-unanimous choice of the party’s central committee.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Young, a resident of Toledo’s Old West End, repeatedly told Democrats they’ve “got work to do.” The vote was taken at the UAW Local 12 union hall at 2300 Ashland Ave., and the oath of office was administered by Judge Gary G. Cook of Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

WATCH: Kurt Young talks about becoming the new chair of the Lucas County Democratic Party

“We’ve got some tough times ahead. We’ve got some challenges to face,” Mr. Young said. “We’ve got work to do, brothers and sisters.”

Mr. Young was appointed to the council in 2017 but subsequently lost his at-large seat in that year’s November general election.

He was elected to replace Joshua Hughes, who resigned last month after leading local Democrats for three years.

Mr. Hughes stepped down to take a job as vice president of the Associated General Contractors of Northwest Ohio. He is continuing in his role on the county board of elections until his term expires next March.

With Mr. Young’s election, both major parties apparently will have new leadership in Lucas County.

Republican Mark Wagoner, a lawyer from Ottawa Hills who has served in the Ohio General Assembly as both a state senator and state representative, claimed victory in the May 8 primary over incumbent Lucas County Republican Party Chairman Jon Stainbrook for his job. Results are not yet final.

Mr. Young said he has worked on Democratic Party campaigns for 35 years, beginning as a 15-year-old with Young Democrats.

He called Mr. Wagoner “an incredible chair on the Republican side,” and urged Democrats to be more inclusive with people from all walks of life.

“I’m hoping to reach out to people who haven’t felt at home with the party,” Mr. Young said.

Mr. Young graduated from Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School before earning his undergraduate degree at the University of Akron. He obtained his law degree at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Contact Tom Henry at thenry@theblade.com, 419-724-6079, or via Twitter @ecowriterohio.

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