With 11 days and a few hours before Election Day, Seneca County Democrats gathered Thursday evening for the annual Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner to make a call to fellow party members to cast their votes for Democrats Nov. 6.
The event was headlined by keynote speaker State Sen. Nina Turner, D-Cleveland. Turner spoke about supporting all Democrat candidates, from President Barack Obama to those running for county commissioner seats.
"It takes teamwork to make the American dream work," said Turner, the Senate minority whip who represents District 25.
Turner used her time at the podium to talk about state and national issues, and voiced her support for Obama over Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
"This is a choice election - it is not just a choice between two different candidates, two different parties - it is a choice between two fundamentally different versions of America," she said, later calling Romney a "dangerous man" and a "shape-shifter" for changing his stance on issues.
Turner reminded the audience of the 2010 election in which Republicans were elected to most seats in the state legislature and administration, many of whom she said are in favor of limiting government and made possible Senate Bill 5, a measure that failed at the ballot box last November which would have limited collective bargaining for public union members.
"I don't understand how we in this state elect people who hate government. If they hate government so much, they should stay out of it," she said. "Government has a good purpose. I don't know how you can govern that which you have disdain for."
Turner added that she hoped attendees could be encouraged, saying that as a party, Democrats "stand in the ready position for workers rights, for women's' rights, for voters' rights and for the poor."
Other speakers included Dwight Wise, Democratic member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1983-1994, and Joe Reino, field organizer for Obama for America.
Candidates also talked about their run for office. Those who attended included Jim Slone, candidate for the Fourth Ohio District U.S. House of Representatives; Tanyce Addison, candidate for Ohio Senate District 26; Bill Young, candidate for Ohio House of Representatives District 88; Ben Nutter, county commissioner candidate; and Paul Shoemaker, a non-partisan commissioner candidate endorsed by the party.
Also, the party inducted Barbara Marley-Hall and Ralph "Doc" Monaco into the Seneca County Democrat Hall of Fame, both of whom died this year. Marley died while serving in her first term as Fostoria Municipal Court judge, and previously served as president and member of Fostoria City Council and was the first woman elected mayor in Fostoria. Monaco served the party for many years and ran for Tiffin City Council in 2011, losing to Councilwoman Lori Ritzler in the primary.
Tom Smathers, chairman of the Seneca County Democratic Executive Committee, said the two showed loyalty, enthusiasm and dedication to the party.