An estimated 25 hundred Ohio Democratis gathered in Columbus over the weekend for the party's fundraising dinner.
Former President Bill Clinton was among the speakers. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.
While chicken was the main dish on the menu, former President Bill Clinton wasted no time throwing red meat to the crowd who gathered to see him.
Clinton - Everybody deserve a chance to make it. That why we exist in the Democratic party.
The theme of the night was strengthening the middle class. Clinton said Governor Kasich and Republicans have not helped middle and poorer Ohioans. Clinton told Democrats they should look at the qualifications of the candidates running for office and figure out whose policies would best represent them.
Clinton - This is after all a job. Every one of these jobs – Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General , Auditor, you name it – they are jobs. And elections are the world’s greatest job interviews.
Clinton told the group that they need to work to get the Democrats who vote in general elections to come out to cast ballots in this midterm contest.
Clinton - This is not about something little. This is something big and all eyes will be on you. Because people really do believe that if you want to find a place in America that represents everybody and everything, a place where the largest most geographically distributed group of big cities and a massive agricultural economy and lots of small towns with every kind of economic activity, you can go to Ohio. We are looking and we are listening. And I am pleading with you to make us proud.
Ohio Republican Party Spokesman Chris Schrimpf said Clinton’s purpose in coming had little to do with the candidates on the ballot this fall.
Schrimpf – He barely even talks about any of the Democrats until the very end of his speech. Some of his former adversaries and former employees got talked about a lot more than any Ohio Democrat. And I think that’s probably because Bill Clinton knows nothing about these guys running for office because they’ve accomplished nothing.
Schrimpf says Clinton is here to gear up for 2016 when his wife might run for office. Schrimpf thinks if Ohioans look at which candidate is best for everyone in Ohio, they will re-elect Governor Kasich this fall.
Schrimpf – We’ve seen 250,000 jobs created. We’ve seen the middle class get stronger. Incomes have gone up. Poverty has gone down since Governor Kasich has taken office and that’s because of his economic policies that are benefitting everybody across the state.
The Democrats stand to raise thousands of dollars from the state dinner featuring Former President Clinton. The average ticket was 150 dollars each. Add to that the money raised through passing the basket and sponsorships. But the party’s Gubernatorial candidate will need some more help from the party. Ed FitzGerald’s war chest has more than seven million dollars less than Governor Kasich right now.