Ohio Secretary of State
We are thrilled to endorse Kathleen Clyde for Ohio Secretary of State. She is an example of the kind of woman we seek to endorse for political office in Ohio. As Ohio’s Secretary of State, she would be in an influential position to help us achieve our mission of supporting an economy in which women can thrive and prosper.
“I’m honored to be the first endorsed candidate of The Matriots, an inspiring group of women and men who have recognized the need to elect more women leaders and foster an environment in Ohio where women can thrive economically… As Secretary of State I will support this important mission by working to make sure our elections are secure, our districts are fair, every voice is heard and every vote is counted.”
– Kathleen Clyde
In 2019, Kathleen was appointed as a Portage County Commissioner.
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
In law school, I often heard men talking about their aspirations to run for office. They had plans to be city councilmen, state senators and congressmen. Yet, I didn’t hear any of my women colleagues talking about running for public office. When I think about it, I’m reminded of where I came from, the strong women who influenced me and the urge I felt to give back and play at least a small role in changing the landscape for more women to run for office. In the last few years, I think so many women have had this same realization, and that’s playing itself out in races around Ohio and across the country as we see unprecedented numbers of women seeking public office.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
My mom has always been my biggest supporter. As a working mom and elected member of our village council, she taught me a woman can do anything a man can do – like lead our state!
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 leader?
Growing up, I juggled multiple jobs such as waitressing to help put me through school. While they often didn’t leave me much at the end of the day, these jobs taught me the value of hard work and the dignity that comes from a paycheck. That’s the kind of attitude that I’ve brought to Columbus the last eight years representing working families in Portage County. As a state rep, I’ve sponsored equal-pay legislation and stood with Ohio workers who were under assault from partisan politicians. Standing up for Ohio workers, women and families is what I’ll continue to do as Secretary of State.
The Matriots PAC has a goal to see 50% of all elected offices in Ohio held by women by 2028. What is your vision for Ohio in 2028?
One of my most important goals, redistricting reform, was approved by Ohio voters earlier this year. Reform means fairer districts and better representation so that in 2028, a few years after the districts are redrawn, our elected officials will better represent the true makeup of Ohio: black and white, urban and rural, men and women. Diverse people with diverse backgrounds and diverse ideas. Fifty percent women? I’m on board. Let’s get it done.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
In Ohio, taking that first step to starting a business can be hard. Navigating the red tape and finding time to fill out the endless paperwork is daunting. Similarly, navigating our voting system can be equally challenging, from voter purging to ID requirements and restrictions on early voting. It can get confusing. As Secretary of State, my number-one priority will be to simplify the system, making it easier for hardworking Ohioans to take that leap to get their businesses off the ground and to do whatever we can to make voting easier for eligible Ohioans. It’s all about finding commonsense solutions to make it a little easier for busy Ohioans.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
I grew up running track and field and was a four-year letter winner in college. Not surprisingly to those who have met me, high jump was always my best event (I’m over six feet tall). Outside the office, you can find me out on a run or taking a barre class, reading a good book or hanging with my awesome nieces – Natasha, Arielle, and Dylan.