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Meet Joel O’Dorisio, one of our own running for State Senate

Joel O’Dorisio

Ten years ago, Joel O’Dorisio was campaigning for a faculty union at Bowling Green State University. Ten years later, he has been campaigning to be the next State Senator for Ohio’s 2nd District.

Some political candidates “talk the talk” of support for public education and labor, but BGSU Art Professor Joel O’Dorisio walks the walk.

Not only did Prof. O’Dorisio help the BGSU Faculty Association win their union a decade ago, but he has been a chapter officer and negotiating team member. He has fought for paid parental leave, LGBTQ protections, increased job security for non-tenured faculty, access to promotion for full-time faculty, and generally the conditions necessary for great teaching and research at his university.

Even though O’Dorisio was outspent heavily in his primary race, he believes his strong pro-worker and pro-public education messages — propelled by an active volunteer base and energetic campaigning — put him over the top.

“In speaking to voters throughout the 2nd District, it was obvious that they are hungry for representatives in Columbus that will work unabashedly for the people, who understand the hardships of everyday workers, and who want to ensure quality education is a right and not just a luxury of the few,” he said.

While Ohio’s 2nd State Senate District (seen below, comprising Wood, Erie, Ottawa, as well as portions of Lucas and Fulton counties) traditionally has been a Republican stronghold, O’Dorisio and political pundits believe the district can be flipped.

His opponent in November, State Senator Theresa Gavarone, was appointed to her seat, so also is running district-wide for the first time. While Gavarone and the Senate Republican Caucus will have a significant fundraising advantage, O’Dorisio believes that small donations from individuals and continuing to outwork his opposition will give him the boost he needs to be successful.

“We must begin to bring back balance to the Ohio Senate with qualified, compassionate leadership,” O’Dorisio said. The Ohio Senate currently has a 24-9 Republican to Democrat split.

To learn more about AAUP member Joel O’Dorisio and his candidacy, visit his campaign website.

If you’d like to make a secure online contribution to his campaign, you can do so here.

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