Class of 2020 Endorsed Candidate: Anahi Ortiz

Dr. Anahi Ortiz has a background in medicine and was appointed Franklin County Coroner in 2014. In her tenure as coroner, Ortiz has worked towards goals such as headlining a quicker death certificate completion process, ensuring that important forms could be transcribed to families whose primary language is not English, and education about her work within the medical community. Ortiz was named a 2020 YWCA Woman of Achievement.

In 2021, Anahi Ortiz will continue to serve as the Franklin County Coroner.


Meet the Candidate

1) In your interview with the Endorsement Committee, you shared a personal life experience that led you to the decision to run for office. Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate? In 2014, the previous coroner took a job opportunity outside of Ohio. She and I knew each other;  she knew I was passionate about working for the community and the underserved.  Her goal was to increase the Coroner Office’s involvement with the community.  It was a short step to recommend me as her replacement. I was appointed in 2014 and elected into office in 2016.  Now, why did a pediatrician, native New Yorker even want to run for the office of coroner?!  My mother was an immigrant from Argentina and she came from the era of dictatorship by Peron.  Here in the U.S., she embraced democracy, became a citizen, and voted in every election. She frequently wrote or called the local officeholders about issues in the area.  In 2009 my mother died but she had instilled a very strong sense of the importance of public office and democracy in me.  In 2014 given this opportunity, I took it in many ways as a tribute to her.

2) Many of you cited a specific person whose strength was an inspiration to you. Can you tell me about a woman who has had a big influence on your life and inspired you to become a leader? What lessons did she teach you?  As you can guess from my answer above, this person has been my mother.  My mother’s strength and resilience were what drove all three of her children to succeed even though we grew up in poverty, in the South Bronx. Every obstacle or blow to our family she would always look at as an opportunity to be creative and to persevere. She taught me the importance of resilience, creativity, and family.

One other inspiration has been Chief Justice Sonia Sotomayor who was an alma mater of my high school in New York. Her journey allowed me to succeed in high school and eventually my career.  She has been a role model to many a Latinx young person growing up in NYC.

3) Some of you are military veterans, some small business owners, some professionals, some mothers and grandmothers, some homemakers. How did one of these experiences shape who you are as a person and a leader? My career as a physician working mainly in underserved communities has enabled me to meet many different peoples in many different circumstances.  It has taught me compassion for all and an understanding of the circumstances people end up in. It has taught me advocacy.  Compassion, understanding, and advocacy are what have shaped my leadership; my work in the addiction arena, my current work in domestic violence, and in the crisis of violence our county is facing have all resulted from my career in medicine.

 4) The Matriots PAC has a bold goal to see 50% of all elected offices in Ohio held by women by 2028. What is your vision for Ohio in 2028? Very simply:  a more equitable representation of women, and of women of color and ethnic diversity.

5) Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community faces today? Our community is currently facing many issues exacerbated now by COVID19: violence, poverty, lack of housing, social injustice, addiction crisis.  I believe however that one of the biggest issues is the lack of women in local leadership especially the lack of women of color and ethnic diversity.

6) Now for fun: Tell us something personal about yourself. It can be a hobby, your favorite food, a funny pet story, something we might not know about you that you would like to share with our members. My hobby or love has been travel. I have had almost a period of mourning due to COVID and the inability for me to travel.  My journeys have taken me around the world: Nepal, India, China, Europe, Kenya, Botswana, Argentina, Peru, the Amazon. I could go on. I have been able to meet so many different peoples through my travels.  Hopefully, I can travel again next year.  This time I would love to see Mongolia and Eastern Europe.