A fresh start for Ohio

The wine and champagne bottles were popped open last night at 9 p.m. as local Democrats gathered at Bowling Green City Park.

Wood County Democrats had much to be happy for at their victory party as the election results rolled in.

“It feels good to have something to celebrate,” said Mike Zickar, vice chair of the Wood County Democrat Party and coordinator of the Ted Strickland campaign for Wood County.

Strickland defeated his Republican challenger Ken Blackwell last night.

Zickar made a celebratory toast a little after 9 p.m., assured by CBS Channel 11 news and online results of the incoming vote.

“A toast to us for making this victory possible and to Governor Strickland,” Zickar said.

Though results were unexpectedly delayed by poll problems in Cuyahoga and Ottawa counties, the Democrats weren’t dismayed. Giant Post-Its lined the walls keeping track of poll numbers and declaring winners in the election.

The mood was merry and filled with conversation of victory and success.

“Turning Ohio blue is awesome. Our hard work has paid off. It’s exciting to finally win after all these years,” said Alison Kukla, vice president of College Democrats.

College Democrats were more than thrilled with the incoming results, with a victory for Strickland, and projected victories U.S. Senate candidate Sherrod Brown and others. They are secure in their belief that Ohio now has the opportunity to change for the better.

“It’s great that corruption is being kicked out. People want a new leadership and politicians who won’t sell themselves out for money,” said Vanessa Garlock, a member of College Democrats.

Democratic campaign volunteers Shirley and Harry Hoeman were excited to see the results for Issue 2, which would raise the state minimum wage and appeared headed for passage.

Harry Hoeman described minimum wage earners as being “between a rock and hard place,” in that they don’t qualify for financial assistance but they also can’t support themselves on $5.15 per hour.

Later, after the Wood Country Democrat’s victory party, the University’s College Democrats continued their own celebration at Kukla’s apartment.

Cheering, singing and even dancing filled the room as the members of the College Democrats kept their eyes glued to the TV.

“It’s a great day for the state of Ohio,” said Ron Collier, a College Democrats member.