TOLEDO -- After weeks of turmoil on the heels of "Strippergate", the Lucas County Democratic Party may have a new chairman. The party's central committee is set to meet on August 9th, with the purpose of naming a new chairman, and the front-runner is local labor leader Ron Rothenbuhler.
Rothenbuhler is executive director of the Regional Council of Carpenters. He's a former Oregon school board member, and he's a ward chairman for the Democrats in Oregon. "My initial goal is to unify this supposed 'A and B team' which I sometimes wonder if there's more than two, maybe three," said Rothenbuhler. "But bring the factions together."
Besides bridging the A-B gap, State Senator Teresa Fedor says the Democratic party needs to do a better job listening to its female office holders on how to move the party forward. "Our message will continue to be that we need to be in the loop," said Fedor. "We need to be involved in the decision making."
If approved by the party's central committee, Rothenbuhler would take over for John Irish, who stepped down following the so-called "Strippergate" incident at a golf outing fundraiser. The party reportedly hired employees of a local adult club as waitresses at the event, and at least one woman exposed herself to golfers, leading to the scandal.
State Rep. Matt Szollosi says local party unity is essential to help Ohio Democrats achieve their goals. "Elect a Democrat to the White House, number two, pick up 4 seats in the Ohio House of Representatives, take majority status in the Ohio House."
Rothenbuhler feels he's ready for the challenge. "What I view myself as is somebody that wants to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem," said Rothenbuhler.
If selected, Rothenbuhler will be in charge until March.