Q&A with Sharon Sweda
LORAIN COUNTY COMMISSIONER
We know the question on our members’ minds is what are The Matriots endorsed candidates up to? Whether representing their district, pursuing careers in the private sector or planning a future run for office, our Class of 2018 is changing the game!
Lorain County is located in northeastern Ohio and includes the cities of Elyria, Vermillion and Avon Lake.
1) You ran a hard-fought campaign in 2018 for Ohio Senate District 13. Can you tell our members what you have been up to since the election?
I immediately became re-engaged within the party and my community – as if the election had yet to take place. I initially felt that it was therapeutic for me to stay busy as well as to help me determine my next step. I had essentially passed the torch within my business in order to run for office. I did not want to upset the new dynamic by returning.
Secondly, I needed time to evaluate my new direction with an emphasis in determining how to stay relevant. I felt that the campaign impacted and changed me in a way that would forever alter my purpose.
As fate would have it – staying relevant served me sooner, rather than later. A long-time County Commissioner announced his intention to seek the appointment for a vacated City Clerk of Courts position in November. In December he acquired the appointment, resigned as County Commissioner and on Feb 10, 2019, I was appointed to the vacated Commissioner seat in a run-off of 7 candidates. My term expires in 2020 when I will be campaigning again.
2) In January we gathered our Class of 2018 candidates for a post-election candidate conversation, where we debriefed on our candidates’ experience in 2018. Can you share with our members one of the lessons you learned from running for office in Ohio?
We made the decision to fold into the coordinated campaign which resulted in ignoring the need to cut our own turf.
3) We believe that when women are involved in the political process, they change the conversation. From your perspective, how did women change the conversation in 2018? And how do you think women will continue to change the conversation in 2019 and beyond?
Nationally, women made an impact in 2018 and will continue to make a difference provided we continue the momentum and focus. Locally, gender never garnered the national momentum.
4) The Matriots PAC will endorse women running for city and school board seats in 2019. Why do you believe it is important to support women running for local offices in 2019?
I am excited to hear that you will support the local races, not simply because I am soon to be a county candidate, but because we know that good government begins on the local level. If we are going to change the landscape of Ohio elections, we need women at every level of government.
6) Now for fun: Tell us about your favorite thing to do in the great state of Ohio. It can be a hobby, a favorite place to eat or something we might not know about our state!
Black River Landing is located within Lorain, Ohio. Lorain is a city like many in the Midwest, which have suffered over loss of its industrial base. The city is working to revitalize and rebuild its downtown.
Black River Landing is 25 acres of Riverfront property used for festivals, picnics and my favorite, a summer concert series.The summer concerts are every Friday evening as well as some Saturdays. Cost is $5.00 for excellent cover band attractions. Black River Landing has been known to attract 4,000-6,000 attendees at every performance. There are food and beer trucks, and never any disturbances.