Alicia Reece: How Cecil Thomas beat Charlie Winburn - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Alicia Reece: How Cecil Thomas beat Charlie Winburn

How did Cecil Thomas beat Charlie Winburn - who clearly outspent him - for the state senate seat Eric Kearney (D-Cincinnati) is vacating?

Help from the state Democratic Party and good, old-fashioned, door-to-door campaigning, said State Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Bond Hill).

Reece said she and others stressed to state party leaders how important Kearney's seat was to keep Democrat, especially with Republicans already hard at work trying to secure Ohio for the 2016 Presidential election by holding their national convention in Cleveland.

"We wanted to make sure they understood what was at stake here," Reece said in an appearance Thursday morning on FOX19 NOW Morning News. 

Democrats came "from all over the state" to help, she said, with staff and computer systems. They hit the campaign trail the old fashioned way: on foot.

"They went grassroots door-to-door and got the Democrats out," Reece said.

Voters in the heavily Democrat district were reminded that Winburn, a Cincinnati city councilman, is a Republican and Thomas, a former Cincinnati city councilman and retired veteran Cincinnati police detective, is a Democrat. 

That simple message was key in getting voters to the polls and keeping the seat blue, Reece said. 

Thomas won 57 percent of the vote, as opposed to 43 percent for Winburn.

Reece had an easier time with her race. Her opponent dropped out at the last minute. 

Still, she thanked the 22,000 people who voted for her.

"This was a rough election and one of the worst turnouts, they say, in the state of Ohio," she said.

Reece reminded FOX 19 NOW viewers she is continuing to collect signatures as part of a bi-partisan effort to try to get the Ohio Voter Bill of Rights constitutional amendment on the ballot. 

She says voting rights of citizens across the state are being challenged and are under attack. 

The measure would amend the state constitution to guarantee voting procedures including early voting on weekends and online voter registration.

Supporters say this would protect voter identification rules and other provisions from changes by lawmakers.

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