3rd Rail Politics Candidate Profile: Dorothy Pelanda

By Cyndy Rees


3rd Rail Politics continues its series profiling candidates from both sides of the aisle who are running for statewide or congressional races in Ohio.  


Today we are profiling Dorothy Pelanda who currently serves as a state Representative from Ohio's 86th House district that includes one of the fastest growing communities in the state, Marysville.  Representative Pelanda is seeking to become Ohio's next Secretary of State.


We begin by learning more about Pelanda's early years growing up in rural Ohio, the daughter of an attorney and teacher, where she learned at an early age the importance of hard work, family and community.

Pelanda is currently serving as Chairwoman of the Speaker’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia.  Her passion for those in need is apparent throughout her career from her work as an attorney representing the indigent, her strong support for foster care issues, and her leadership on issues related to the elderly. 

Representative Pelanda is currently serving her 3rd term in the Ohio General Assembly. She has served in leadership as the Assistant Majority Whip, Majority Whip and most recently as Majority Floor Leader.  We asked Pelanda about her path that lead to the Ohio Statehouse and about her desire to become the next Ohio Secretary of State. 

What role does the Secretary of State play in redistricting legislative boundaries?

The Secretary of State is part of the apportionment board.  That is not to be confused with congressional redistricting.  Currently congressional districts are drawn by the state legislature. There is a movement to change that.  There are individuals who have proposed legislation that would create a commission in the event by August 1st of a given year the House and the Senate have not agreed on a (district) map. Should that occur the decision to draw the map will go to a commission some of whom could be appointed not elected.  I think anyone who is drawing those lines should be answerable to the general public such as legislators.  I am not supportive of creating a commission.  We have so many commissions that exist now that don't even have members filled at this point. Creation of another commission to take away the powers from the legislature is something I would oppose.  I am all for transparency, I do believe reforms are needed but whatever reforms are needed they have to have buy in from both parties.  The House is exploring various alternatives to S.J.R. 3 which would create this commission.


Representative Pelanda has worked to develop legislation that addresses issues related to voting.

We thank Representative Pelanda for sitting down with us to share her story with our readers.  We hope our readers enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about Represenative Pelanda as she runs for Secretary of State.

3rd Rail Politics will continue to bring you in-depth interviews with candidates seeking statewide and congressional office.  We hope to bring you an interview from Representative Pelanda's GOP opponent for Secretary of State, Senator Frank LaRose in the near future.