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John O’Grady Democratic nominee for Franklin County Commission
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After a rather unfriendly race between two democrats vying for a nomination for a seat on the Franklin County Commission, the numbers are in. WOSU spent some time last night with both the campaigns .
“I’m going to sleep a little bit tomorrow; I know that,” John O’Grady told reporters when asked what he was going to do now that he has the democratic nomination for a Franklin County Commission seat. On a more serious note, though, O’Grady said he does not plan to delay preparations for November’s election.
“It’s going to be a tough race. The Republican Party always puts together tough candidates, tough campaigns and we’re going to get ready for it right away,” O’Grady said.
Former Franklin County judge Cindy Lazarus was O’Grady’s challenger. Lazarus said although she is disappointed in the loss, she said Tuesday was a victory for the Democratic Party.
“The night was an incredible success for both Franklin County and the state of Ohio to have the kind of voter participation that we had. That was one of the reasons that I chose to be involved in the primary was to encourage that type of participation,” Lazarus said.
Although O’Grady will have to beat out a Republican challenger in November for the county commission seat being vacated by Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy, O’Grady said the first thing he will address is the housing crisis.
“We need to work on this foreclosure crisis in Franklin County. It’s a huge deal. We’ve seen it, obviously here in Franklin County; Ohio’s has the second largest number of foreclosures of any state in the county. Franklin County’s been hit very, very hard by it. The presidential candidates are talking about it now. This is something that we’ve talked about in the campaign and I’m anxious to get started on it right away,” O’Grady said.
The race between O’Grady and Lazarus was not necessarily a friendly one. Much of the Franklin County Democratic Party backed O’Grady. Franklin County Democratic Party chair William Anthony Junior told supporters Tuesday night “if you work against the democratic party in this county you’re going to lose.”
Before O’Grady was announced the winner, Lazarus talked about the tension among the party.
“I certainly wish our party had been more inclusive in how they looked at any number of the races in the primary for this particular year, but they chose not to do so,” Lazarus said.
Lazarus, who is President and CEO of the Columbus YWCA, said she plans to continue her work there now that the race is finished.
Unofficial results show O’Grady took 55 percent of the vote.