Dani (rhymes with “Sunny”) Isaacsohn won the Democratic primary for Ohio State Representative in District 24 this past Tuesday. That’s my home district, and because it’s roughly 2/3 Democratic, Dani has a very strong chance of winning the November general election.

Only 8.4% of eligible voters cast ballots. Granted, some of that apathy is because it was an unusual second primary, in the dog days of summer… and that happened due to some voting map shenanigans by Dani’s future counterparts across the aisle. But due to the paltry turnout, Dani only needed to get nearly 3600 people to vote for him. Actually, in hindsight, he would’ve only needed 800 votes.

Those results may make it seem like Dani was a lock, but that’s not the case at all. Dale Mallory had name recognition out the wazoo, and sometimes — especially when there’s low turnout — that’s all you need.

Mallory’s father, William Mallory, Sr., served 28 years in the Ohio General Assembly and became the first Black majority floor leader. His brothers are former state legislator and former Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory, municipal court judges Dwane and William Mallory Jr., and Cincinnati NAACP president Joe Mallory.

From this Cincinnati.com article

I met Dani at a “voteraiser” at a friend’s home. Seems like a nice young man. Smart kid for sure – he graduated from Walnut Hills High school as valedictorian, went to Georgetown and then graduated from Yale Law School. But it seems he learned just as many valuable lessons on the high school hardwood.

Dani credits his time at Walnut Hills for solidifying his love of Cincinnati. Those years – especially his years as captain of the basketball team – shaped his belief that friendships, trust, and love across the barriers of geography, race, and class are critical to unlocking our full potential as a city. He remains firm in his conviction that our diversity should be a source of strength, not weaponized to create barriers and drive us apart.

From Dani’s website

our diversity should be a source of strength, not weaponized to create barriers and drive us apart“… sounds like your typical political platitudes. And maybe it is. But here’s a sign that Dani walks the walk:

Dale Mallory didn’t have the support of some Democrats in leadership. An endorsement committee moved to endorse Isaacsohn. After a heated debate, Isaacsohn said he urged the Hamilton County Democrats to not endorse for the sake of party unity. 

From the same Cincinnati.com article cited above

In the backstabbing win-at-all-costs world of politics, Dani put a common cause before his own ambitions. Would that more politicians were like that.

I work from home most days, and usually try to get out for a walk to break the monotony of my bland basement (and the creativity-sapping barrage of Zoom meetings). A few weeks ago, I was out for a walk and ran into Dani. He was out knocking on doors, trying to convince folks to vote for him. It was hotter than blazes that day. You’ve gotta really want it to go door-to-door in 2022 trying to get people to vote for you. But that hard work paid off.

Now comes the really hard work. Trying to win a general election. And if you win that, the work gets even harder: trying to find common ground across the aisle, when that aisle can seem as wide as the Grand Canyon.

Too much of our politics at the State House is about tearing each other down, scoring points, and honing in on what separates us. We have real divisions and challenges, but if we allow them to consume us, everyone loses. Dani believes that when we lift as we climb, we are able to celebrate each others’ success and come together to solve shared challenges.

From Dani’s website

I hope Dani wins in November. More importantly, I hope he’s able to find some common ground, and work out sensible solutions to the challenges we face in our city and state.

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