Former Democratic Party Chairman Reenters Political Arena To Seek House Seat

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UPDATED: Thursday September 12, 2013 6:52 PM

Former Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Leland is seeking his old state House seat, with a powerful ally as the chairman of his campaign.

“North Columbus has been an integral part of my life for over 40 years, as I’ve lived here and raised my children here, and I feel a deep sense of responsibility to serve my neighbors and the broader community,” said Leland.

Leland announced for the District 22 House seat just days after incumbent John Carney announced he was seeking the state Auditor job.

He represented the same area in the House for one term in the early 1980s.

He later served four terms as chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party during the Clinton era.

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is serving as honorary chairman of his campaign.

Leland was the finance director for Strickland’s 2006 and 2010 campaigns.  Both set Ohio campaign fundraising records.

"David Leland brings a unique combination of experience, wisdom, temperance and enthusiasm to the legislative process," said Strickland.  "Knowing David Leland's values as I do, I am certain he will be a champion for Ohio's working families."

The Columbus attorney has a reputation for defending Democratic Party politics, while building relationships with Republicans in certain policy areas.

"David is the type of the guy who is not uncomfortable with working with Republicans," said GOP strategist Terry Casey.  "There's a lot of tension in the Ohio House right now, and when you're in the minority, it's even worse.  David has a chance to make a difference, but he'll need to figure out exactly how to do that."

Leland says government works best with a “system of checks and balances” and that he’s running to restore balance to the legislature.

"I believe in a legislative process that allows one to fight for strongly held principles in a civilized manner, to disagree with others at times, but not be disagreeable in doing so," said Leland.  "I pledge to work together with everyone toward this end."

If elected, Leland would join current Democratic Party chairman Chris Redfern in the House.

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