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Dayton Public Schools board member to run for county Democratic party chair

Jocelyn Rhynhard
Jocelyn Rhynhard
Rhynard said she believes in the power of democratic principles, policy legislation, public education, paid family leave, health care, abortion rights, a strong social safety net. And has been deeply involved in the party for the last couple of years.

The Montgomery County Democratic Party will be electing a new chair leader soon. That’s after Mark Owens, the current committee chairman announced he would not seek re-election after 15 years in the role.

One of the candidates running to fill the seat is current Dayton Public School Board Vice President Jocelyn Rhynard.

Rhynard has been a Dayton resident for nearly 20 years. She’s been involved in the Dayton community through various roles, even running campaigns and volunteering for the Montgomery County Democratic Party since 2016.

Rhynard said one of the primary reasons for her decision to run is to engage Democrats and build up the party's priorities.

“I think that we have the opportunity to really find people in our communities that would represent us from the small local levels to the statehouse level,” Rhynard said. “I want to give them the tools to make their neighbors' lives better. And I want people to be able to have the opportunity to serve the public.”

Rhynard acknowledged there are fractures within the party that need to be addressed for it to move forward. The most recent one being last November's postcard ads targeting then City Commission candidates Shenise Turner-Sloss and Darryl Fairchild.

Rhynard said those fractures call for the party to revisit the party’s constitution and reflect on the new realities within the party.

“Democracy matters now more than ever,” Rhynard said. “This is a party that needs to reach out to Democrats all over the county. Support the candidates, but also do the work in building the relationship with Democrats who don't attend party meetings.”

She adds the party needs to standardize resources it puts toward each election race and equitably support its candidates. Particularly local community leaders who might want to run but don’t have access to networks of campaign fundraising.

The party committee will elect a new chair after the May 3 primary election. That’s after voters elect precinct captains within their own precincts. All of the captains elected will then be appointed to the Montgomery County Central Committee which will then elect a new party chair after the primaries.

If elected, Rhynard would be the first woman to chair the party committee.

Alejandro Figueroa is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Support for WYSO's reporting on food and food insecurity in the Miami Valley comes from the CareSource Foundation.