"I run for office and serve because I want to make a difference, especially for those who need us the most. Young parents trying to figure out how to afford childcare, I’m fighting for you. Workers trying to earn a living wage and equal pay, you have an advocate in me. Seniors struggling with rising costs on a fixed income, I am on your side. New graduate buried under student debt, I understand your struggle. Empathy and a determination to make things better than we found them should inform our politics today. That is who I am and that is what I hope to accomplish. I hope to see you out there on the trail, but either way, know that I’m here for you."
- Kathleen Clyde
Kathleen Clyde was appointed County Commissioner in Portage County in Northeast Ohio in late December 2018.
Kathleen grew up in Garrettsville, Ohio, a small town in northeast Portage County. She attended the James A. Garfield public schools in Garrettsville from kindergarten until 12th grade, graduating first in her high school class.
Kathleen went on to earn her B.A. in English from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. After college, she spent two years working for an organization fighting homelessness in Central Ohio. She then joined the John Kerry presidential campaign as the Ohio College Coordinator, working to engage young people across Ohio in the democratic process.
Kathleen earned her J.D. from The Ohio State University College of Law, where she served as an editor of the law review and graduated as a public service fellow with the dean’s highest honors. She served as an election official in the 2008 presidential election, overseeing the set-up and operation of the Early Voting Center in Franklin County, Ohio.
In 2010, she ran for office from her home in Portage County, winning a close election and going on to serve four two-year terms in the Ohio House of Representatives. She fought for workers, organizing opposition and helping defeat anti-collective bargaining legislation for public sector workers on the statewide ballot in 2011. She fought for women, sponsoring the Ohio Equal Pay Act for three straight general assemblies and holding hearings on the unprecedented attacks on women’s reproductive healthcare slipped into various state budget bills. She also became known as a national expert on election and voting rights issues, helping mount legal defenses to various anti-voter measures eventually vetoed or found to be unconstitutional in state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court.
In 2018, she was the Democratic nominee for Ohio Secretary of State, garnering over 2 million votes (47%) in her first run for statewide office.
ABOUT PORTAGE COUNTY
Portage County in northeast Ohio is the state's 19th largest county. It's home to 4 cities, 5 villages, 18 townships, Kent State University, the Northeast Ohio Medical University, Hiram College, and 12 public school districts. Within an hour's drive of any destination in Northeast Ohio, Portage County’s largest industries include manufacturing, agriculture, and educational services.