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The Delaware County Democratic Party is proud to congratulate party chair Peg Watkins for being named 2019 Large County Party Chair of the Year by the Ohio Democratic Party (ODP). The honor was presented by David Pepper, ODP chair, at the Main Street Celebration Luncheon held in Columbus on Dec. 21, 2019.

“Chairwoman Peg Watkins has stepped into the role of leading the Delaware County Democratic Party at an important moment, as Ohio’s suburbs — once strongholds for the GOP — are shifting blue,” said Pepper. “Bringing new energy and expertise to the Delaware County Dems, Peg has encouraged new candidates — particularly women — to throw their hats in the ring and run for public office. And in 2019, many of these candidates were victorious, with big wins in Powell, Delaware city, Westerville and the village of Galena. Peg is helping to build a bench of great public servants, and that’s why she is so deserving of the Tim Burke Large County Party Chair of the Year Award for 2019.”

The award is named after former Hamilton County Chair Tim Burke who served as chair for 25 years before ending his tenure in 2018.

Watkins was elected to her first term in May of 2018 when longtime chair Ed Helvey stepped down after having led the county for 13 years. She immediately demonstrated she was up to the task by helping shepherd in a record number of precinct representatives during the 2018 primaries. 

“I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honor,” said Helvey. “Peg has spent countless hours each week to advance the party and its candidates. I look forward to her continued success and the success of the Delaware County Democratic Party.”

Among her new initiatives, Peg set up a Candidate Screening committee which was an important factor in recruiting and placing the best candidates in the most important races. After a star-studded and record-breaking annual fundraiser in 2019, the party was able to provide critical financial backing to key candidates. In addition, she reached out and worked with ODP and the Franklin County Democratic Party to arrange funding for campaign materials that helped claim important Democratic wins across the county, especially in Westerville.

“This is truly an award for the whole party, not one person,” said Watkins. “We had great candidates, excellent support for those candidates, and many, many volunteers behind the scenes leading to successful elections. Even those who did not win the offices they were vying for contributed to the visibility of Democrats in Delaware County. This is a win for the entire Party.”