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October 1st, 2023            Len’s Political Note #591 Emilia Sykes Ohio 13

2024                                     General Election

Emilia Sykes has been competitive all her life.  What is memorable about her youthful experience as a dancer is how badly she wanted to succeed at it.  Whether she had to turn to less athletic undertakings because she started too late, because of an injury, or because she was not talented enough, her desire is memorable.  She brings that intensity to politics now.  So far, she has been a success every time out.

As she grew up, Emilia Sykes tried to get out of Akron.  Her parents were political fixtures there.  For about 40 years, either her father or her mother or both represented Akron in the state legislature. Emilia left for Tuskegee to be somewhere different.  Not that she left the competitiveness behind.  She was awarded the Miss Tuskegee crown, then had it withdrawn when Tuskegee officials recounted points.  Emilia Sykes sued, out of anger, not because she or her parents believed they could win such a law suit.

Emilia Sykes left Tuskegee and returned to Ohio. At Kent State where she got her BA – Magna Cum Laude, she authored a study on women’s access to health care and an investigation of crisis pregnancy centers.  After Kent State, she escaped again – this time for Florida.  At the University of Florida, she earned a Masters in Public Health and a JD.  She was ready to practice family law with more expertise than most young lawyers.

Her family lured her back to Akron.  Emilia Sykes could work on women’s issues at a women’s clinic, provide legal aid to the low-income women at the clinic, and find ways to help them escape poverty.

And then her father had to leave the Ohio House of Representatives.  He was term limited. He would run for the state senate and was elected.  Her mother, state director for the AARP, was not going to run for office again. Emilia Sykes was 27 years old and, in 2014, was positioned for the job.  She won the Democratic primary and defeated the Republican 72-28.  She kept on winning general elections by roughly the same percentages and did not have primary opposition again.

By 2016, she was Assistant Minority Leader of Ohio’s House of Representatives.  She organized Democrats in support of a Republican who wanted to be Speaker and came out of the process as the Democratic Minority Leader.  Earlier this year, Larry Householder, the Republican she supported, was convicted of receiving $61 million in bribes for supporting a billion-dollar bailout of a nuclear plant.  Others convicted included the Republican Party Chair, Householder’s political strategist, and a lobbyist.

Emilia Sykes fought other battles.  Time and again, she was searched by members of Capitol security, an indignity which, she pointed out, white male state representatives were spared.  An internal House investigation cleared the offices of any bias. She also had her achievements.  Through her leadership, the Ohio legislature made the state the 49th in the country to permit civil protection orders for victims of dating violence and it increased its state Earned Income Credit from 10% to 30% of the federal credit.  In 2021, she pressed the legislature successfully to extend Ohio’s participation in the covid-related American rescue plan which funded schools, health care providers, child care providers, and law enforcement agencies.

By 2022, she was ready to run for Congress.  She had no opposition for the Democratic nomination and had to defeat Trump supporter and former beauty queen Madison Gesiotto Gilbert.  Emila Sykes victory was no landslide.  She won by 15,000 votes, a 52.7-47.3 margin.

In Congress, Emilia Sykes  was on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.  She joined a slew of caucuses – from the Black Caucus to the Democratic Women’s Caucus to the Pro-Choice Caucus to the Labor Caucus to the Voting Rights Caucus to the Steel Caucus and the Manufacturing Caucus.  She even joined the working group on pharmaceutical affordability of the conservative, bi-partisan Problem Solvers Caucus.  Competitive and energetic, Emilia Sykes was not a shy freshman Member of Congress.

Emilia Sykes campaign website has an exhaustive list of issues.  Her first issues, though, are worth noting.

  • Jobs and Rising Costs: Strengthening American manufacturing so we do not have another supply chain crisis
  • Healthcare: She promises efforts to reduce the cost of medications and long term care.
  • Public Safety: She supports increased resources for police and criminal justice reform and police accountability to ensure greater community trust in the police.
  • Protecting Women’s Right to Healthcare: She emphasizes the importance of women controlling their own bodies including having access to abortion, contraception, and cancer screening. She also includes protection of women from rape, incest, and domestic abuse.

Emilia Sykes has one opponent now – Chris Banweg who works as a program manager executing company-wide transformation projects.  He is also a Hudson city councilor committed fiscal responsibility, infrastructure, responsible development, and public safety.  Attorney and Accountant Greg Wheeler has withdrawn.

There are no polls available for this race.  Nor is there much of a financial race at this point.  Emilia Sykes entered the second half of 2023 with a little less than a half million dollars available for her campaign.  Gregg Wheeler and her Emilia Sykes’ 2022 opponent Madison Gilbert Gesiotto reported $50,000 between them to the FEC.  Emily Sykes’ financial job is to build her funds up sufficiently to discourage opponents.  Help her achieve that goal.

Other Vulnerable Midwestern House Democrats to support

 Eric Sorenson. Illinois 17 #12 on Len’s List of Vulnerable Democrats Len’s Political Note #552

Frank Mrvan. Indiana 01 #18 on Len’s List. Len’s Political Note #576

Greg Landsman. Ohio 01 #26 on Len’s List.

Angie Craig Minnesota 02 #27 on Len’s List. Len’s Political Note #592 (Scheduled)

Mike Kildee Michigan 08 #37 on Len’s List

Nikki Budzinski Illinois 13 on the DCCC List

Sharice Davids Kansas 03 on the DCCC List’

Marcy Kaptur Ohio 09 on the DCCC List Len’s Political Note #554

Hillary Scholten Wisconsin Michigan 03 on the DCCC List


Vulnerable Midwestern Senate Seats to Protect

Tammy Baldwin Wisconsin Len’s Political Note Len’s Political Note #570

Sherrod Brown Ohio Len’s Political Note  Len’s Political Note #556

Elisse Slotkin Michigan Len’s Political Note Len’s Political Note #589


 2023 Elections are coming soon. Help Democratic candidates now

Kentucky election day                            November 7, 2023

Mississippi election day                          November 7, 2023

Louisiana non-partisan primary            October 14, 2023

Louisiana run off, top two                       November 18, 2023

Pennsylvania election day                    November 7, 2023

Virginia election day                                 November 7, 2023

October 14 is two weeks away.  November 7 is slightly more than a month away and November 18 is less than 2 months away.  If you are going to do something about these elections, donate now. 


Democrats for Governor:

Incumbent Andy Beshear            Kentucky, Formerly, the Attorney General. Len’s Political Note #533

Shawn Wilson                                 Louisiana, Formerly the State Secretary of Transportation. Len’s Political Note #549

Brandon Presley                            Mississippi, Formerly one of three elected public service commissioners. Len’s Political Note #535

For State Supreme Court Justice:

Dan McCaffrey                                Pennsylvania, Currently an Appellate Judge.  Len’s Political Note #571

For Attorney General

Colonel Pamela Stevenson         Kentucky, former Senior Official in the Air Force Judge Advocate system and state rep Len’s Political Note #561

Greta Kemp Martin                        Mississippi, Litigation Director for Disability Rights Mississippi running against a Republican who truly deserves to be defeated. Len’s Political Note #563

 For Treasurer

Dustin Granger                               Louisiana, Financial Advisor. Len’s Political Note #562

For Secretary of State

Buddy Wheatley                             Kentucky, Former Fire Chief and former state rep.  Len’s Political Note #582

For a Democratic legislature than can stand up to a Republican governor. 

 Virginia House of Delegates: Kimberly Pope Adams, Jessica Anderson, Joshua Cole, Michael Feggans, Susanna Gibson, Joshua Thomas. See Len’s Political Note #573 of July 6, 2023

Virginia State Senate: Clint Jenkins, Monty Mason, Russet Perry, Danica Roem, Schuyler VanValkenburg.   Len’s Political Note #573 of July 10, 2023