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Democratic hopefuls travel southeastern Ohio, talk health care

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IRONTON, Ohio (WOWK) — Members of the Ohio Democratic Party are traveling the southeastern part of the Buckeye State on Wednesday, January 29, 2019.

Those travel plans included a stop in Ironton where two candidates and the Chair of the Ohio Democratic Party spoke on an issue they believe is central to voters in rural areas: health care. They argued the president has not kept his promise when it comes to insurance and affordable healthcare.

Southern parts of Ohio have traditionally voted for republican candidates in past elections, but democrats say they’re up for the challenge and hope to gain the vote in the 2020 elections.

“In the last election, Ironton went blue with the huge win by the new mayor. We were very excited that the democratic mayor won 72% to 28%. That’s a dramatic win,” said David Pepper, Chair of the Democratic Party. “I think the democrats need to make sure we’re out talking to everybody and I think in the past, democrats have not done that as well as they need to.”

“I realize that for many years now [voters] have [voted for republicans], but before that, they voted for democrats,” said Shawn Roberts who is running for Congressman Bill Johnson’s seat in the US House of Representatives. “This has been sort of a slow-moving swing area,” she added referring to southeastern Ohio. “It will eventually go blue again as people realize they’ve been lied to.”

The road trip continues for the democrats once they leave Ironton in Chillicothe and then over to Marietta. Ohio went blue twice for former President Barack Obama, but most recently went red to elect President Donald Trump.

In Lawrence County, President Obama lost to Mitt Romney 56.5% to 41.43% back in 2012. During the 2016 election cycle in the county, President Trump beat Hillary Clinton 69.75% to 26.03%.

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