Post Submitted By Michael Overholser. Michael is a field organizer working with the Americans for Workplace Opportunity campaign to secure support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in Ohio.
The movement to establish equality in Ohio’s 14th district is building. The district is nestled in the northeastern corner of the Buckeye State and borders suburbs of Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown. For more than a decade, the district was represented in Congress by moderate Republican Steve LaTourette who retired in 2012. Following LaTourette’s retirement, the GOP county chairs in the 14th district nominated another moderate, David Joyce, to be the Republican candidate.
However, not all Republicans in the district are happy with Congressman Joyce. Today, Joyce will face a primary challenge from Matt Lynch, a more conservative state representative in the Ohio General Assembly.
To me, this race is fascinating because I feel it represents two radically different cultural norms within the 14th district. With our Americans for Workplace Opportunity's ENDA-organizing work, I regularly visit small business owners who are happy to sign our small business letter and express their disappointment with the lack of protections for LGBT workers. On the other hand, some business owners seem fearful of ENDA. These different perspectives often can be found next door to one another – among both Democrats and Republicans. Fortunately for the LGBT equality movement, I believe that supportive businesses are the majority within the district.
After hearing from hundreds of business owners and residents, it is clear to me that Ohio’s 14th Congressional District is moving forward.