LIMA — During the last presidential election, Allen County voted decidedly Republican. However, for the crowd gathered at the new Hillary Clinton campaign Lima headquarters Thursday at 229 S. Main St., there is hope that the result will be different this year.
“It’s about making a change,” according to Lima campaign volunteer Nicole Brownlow, 45. “If I don’t get out there to make a change, it will never amount to anything. I have four grandkids, and it’s about me coming to fight for them. It’s for me to come out in the community, and if people in my generation see me out there working for change, they might decide to get out there and help me.”
The kick-off event for the campaign headquarters featured multiple special speakers, with former world champion figure skater and two-time Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan giving the keynote address.
“It’s exciting to be here in Ohio,” she said. “I started in Columbus, going to Dayton to Springfield and now Lima, and it’s been so nice being so welcomed by all Ohioans and seeing the excitement and energy they have for Hillary Clinton.”
Lima Mayor David Berger also spoke at the kickoff, noting Lima’s past connection with the Democratic presidential candidate.
“In her book, ‘It Takes a Village,’ she wrote about Lima,” he said. “This was in the wake of the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, and our community came together in a very special way for almost a decade in the work we did through Study Circles. That was highlighted in Hillary’s book in an important way, so we have been on her mind.”
Also speaking was Ohio 10th District Court of Appeals Judge and former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, who is seeing the potential for new voters coming to the Democratic camp.
“I’ve talked to so many Republicans, including my sister, who has never given me a dime toward any of my campaigns,” she said, drawing laughter from the crowd. “And she’s actually thinking of voting for Hillary.”
With both Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump showing low popularity scores in recent weeks, Kwan acknowledged there are many voters out there who may be undecided. To them, she says to look at what Clinton has done when they are making their decisions.
“Over the next 89 days, it’s important that people know that, for one, Hillary Clinton has been fighting for people her whole life,” she said. “She has a proven track record of getting things done and working across party lines.”