I grew up in Thornville, Ohio. This small little city was filled with some very interesting people and my mindset to this day is influenced by the politics of the area I lived.
Thornville, Ohio is a Conservative area. Its current mayor though is a Democrat. In the 2020 election, though, 74% voted Conservative. Its previous mayor Beth Patrick was a Conservative. Thornville, Ohio only recently started making a shift towards more liberal candidates, yet is still Conservative.
Thornville, Ohio has a rich political history that is backed by Conservative values. Read on to learn more about Thornville, Ohio´s politics. Hopefully, we help you learn everything you want to know about Thornville’s political history!
Thornville, Ohio´s Conservative History
Thornville, Ohio was recorded as voting 74.1% Conservative during the 2020 election. Only 24.6 voted for the Democratic Party and 1.3 voted Independent. This means that the majority of Thornville, Ohio voted for Donald Trump to be President and has stated itself to be a Conservative area of Ohio.
Thornville is considered a strongly Conservative area. I recall during election year seeing Trump 2020 ¨Make America Great Again¨ signs all over the sides of the street supporting and promoting the current president to be reelected. This made sense to me as supporting the trend that the further into the country you go the higher the levels of Conservatism are.
Thornville, Ohio is a very rural area with a total population of 1,042 people. I remember having to drive fifteen minutes to get to the nearest grocery store and the closest Hospital was closer to half an hour away. Therefore the rural Conservative political stereotype fits Thornville, Ohio to a tee.
It was not Thornville, Ohio´s fault that Trump lost the election. Thornville, Ohio has a history of Conservative leaders from Beth Patrick to Gavin Renner. These political leaders have been the base of Thornville, Ohio´s politics for a while.
Yet, even though Thornville, Ohio is a Conservative city, Ohio is a swing state. Ohio´s cities are always bouncing back and forth on the political spectrum.
Thornville, Ohio´s Representatives
Thornville, Ohio is in Ohio´s 12th congressional district and for the past 40 years, Ohio´s 12th congressional district has been represented by Republican candidates.
Ohio has been represented by John Kasich, Pat Tiberi, and Troy Balderson. Even before these men, there was only one Democrat Bob Shamansky who only represented for a term and then Ohio was represented by Samuel L. Devine and John M. Vory who were Republican leaders.
These Republican leaders have been an accurate representation of the Conservative nature of the area that Thornville, Ohio is within.
Thornville, Ohio´s Movement towards Democratic Leaders
In recent years Thornville, Ohio has made a move toward Democratic politics. The current mayor of Thornville, Ohio is Dan Harmon. He is a Democrat who has lived in Thornville, Ohio for the past three years.
Of course, during the 2020 election which was after Dan Harmon entered office Thornville, Ohio voted Conservative. Why the change from Conservative to Democrat even when the majority of the populace is Republican.
As stated before Ohio in general is a swing state. Therefore in a broad sense, it is not uncommon to expect a town like Thornville to switch, but with Thornville Ohio´s rich history of Conservative leaders like Beth Patrick and Gavin Renner, it was shocking that there was a switch to Democratic leaders.
This is even more shocking since the trend of Thornville, Ohio voting has actually shifted to more people voting Republican than Democrat. In 2012 only 50.9% voted Republican which increased to 67.73% in 2016 which increased once more in the next election to 74.1% voting for the Republican party.
Thornville was a trajectory to continually support the Republican Party. This leads to questions like why and how the Liberal Mayor Dan Harmor get elected into office.
After research, I found many reasons for this shift. Most of which involve a small town argument involving chickens.
Mayor Beth Patrick
To better understand the shift from Republican to Democrat mayoral leaders we should start with the election of Mayor Beth Patrick. Mayor Beth Patrick was brought into office under unprecedented circumstances.
In 2007 the current Mayor of Thornville, Ohio, Dale Brussee, quit his position as mayor under secretive measures. He only gave the public three days’ notice of his decision to leave.
His resignation came along that year with the resignation of the Village Administrator Josh Eggleston and the Council President Jim Royer. Beth Patrick actually took the position of Council President when Jim Royer turned in his resignation from the city council.
When Mayor Dale Brussee resigned as Mayor the city council decided to place Beth Patrick as the temporary Mayor until the next election season in a few months. As acting Mayor, she decided to run for a full-term position as Mayor and gained public favor. She entered as the head of Thornville, Ohio politics.
She remained for her full term, but unfortunately, Thornville Ohio´s political council was a very toxic environment for women. Mary Renner, the wife of Mayor Gavin Renner, stated that many of the council members questioned whether a woman could handle a position in politics.
With all this toxicity during the next election round Beth Patrick did not run again for office and this allowed the next Mayor, Gavin Renner, to enter the office. Beth Patrick, though, did not leave politics for long. She returned as the village’s new administrator for Thornville Ohio back in 2016 giving politics a second chance.
Mayor Gavin Renner
Gavin Renner was a Republican man with a high-strung nature. He liked things his way and was not unwilling to get what he asked for.
During his time in office, a scandal involving his family entered the public´s eye. A young girl Olivia Newbold entered the Thornville, Ohio village council. At only the age of 19, she had big dreams to change the political system of Thornville Ohio.
During one of her first council meetings, she became aware of the fact that Mayor Gavin Renner was illegally housing chickens. He lived in the more suburban area of Thornville, Ohio, and was not allowed to have livestock there. Gavin Renner though was using his position of power to grant himself the right to own his chickens claiming them not as livestock, but as pets.
She also found out that Gavin Renner had been permitting his wife´s stepfather to sell shirts at cost on the street. With these two facts adding up she started to realize that the politics in Thornville, Ohio were used for self-profit and gain.
During a council meeting, she brought up these issues to the council and argued that there was a conflict of interest, and believed that these issues needed to be brought up to the council as a whole. Gavin Renner responded by throwing down his gavel in a rage and shouting his frustration out at Olivia.
Latter after his explosive display of emotions Gavin Renner apologized for his actions, but it was too late the ball was rolling. People were losing public favor of Gavin Renner. Angie Hedges, Gavin Renner´s next-door neighbor, complained saying that his chickens get loose and run around her yard.
Angie Hedges complained saying that it is a public safety threat. She claimed that her father contracted histoplasmosis from the droppings the chickens left in her backyard.
Mary Renner, Gavin Renner´s wife, was also on the Thornville city council. She argued that the chickens were pets. She said they had distinct names and personalities. She said she could call the chickens and they would come and sit on her lap at some points, she would even put on diapers on the chickens and allow them to walk within her home. She argued that those chickens were not livestock, because they would never be seen as a meal on her dinner plate.
With these many arguments, it brought the city unrest and a lack of faith in Mayor Renner. People were ready for a more peaceful way of politics as it had been in the past.
Mayor Dan Harmon
During this period of unrest, Dan Harmon became interested in the position of Mayor. He had been working at Nationwide Hospital and caring for the general public. He campaigned against Mayor Renner and with the public’s opinion of Mayor Renner decreased Dan Harmon became a favorable option.
Dan Harmon was a charming man and so the general public was able to overlook the fact that his political affiliation did not link up to the current trend of political standing in the community. He was elected into office in April 2019 and remains in office to this day.
You can bet Mayor Dan Harmon is harboring no illegal chickens in his backyard. He also had to deal with the crisis of the Coronavirus Pandemic. With the political uproar, the pandemic has caused the debate on whether he will be reelected in the next election season.
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