Political parties courting women’s support before CNN presidential debate in Ohio

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One Columbus businesswoman said she feels Democrats do a better job of helping women and minorities in the workplace, but Republicans say President Trump has done a lot for them

COLUMBUS (WKBN) – In one of many stops for Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez Monday was a visit to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams Shop in the Short North of Columbus.​

He’s been to Jeni’s before — in 2016 during the presidential campaign. Now three years later, he was welcomed back with open arms.​

Jeni Britton Bauer, the founder and owner of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, gave Perez a hug and posed for a selfie with him.

The two would soon have a discussion about equality in opportunity for women and minorities but first, Perez would talk to the media.​

In addressing the media, Perez talked about the importance of women-owned businesses and women in leadership roles within businesses in general.

“It’s a really important conversation,” he said. “I really do believe that when women succeed, America succeeds and we need to make sure that we’re doing our level best to close the pay gap, to ensure pathways to opportunities for women.”

These are things Britton Bauer was eager to hear.

She told us earlier about how difficult it can be for a woman or minority to start a business, and how she would like to hear more from the party on how it plans to remove obstacles and streamline processes.​

When asked if she felt one party or the other did a better job when it came to not only empowering women, but helping them achieve new heights, she did not hesitate.​

“I do feel that from the Democrats,” she said. “I feel that they are always looking for this sort of idea that America is a diverse place and…that we have to build opportunities for everyone, and that sort of rising tide just really lifts all ships. We all have to rise together.”​

Republicans, in the meantime, are not giving up on women’s votes and will be just a few miles from where the Democratic Presidential Debate will be held Tuesday night.

They have scheduled a discussion in Powell for earlier in the day to talk about how President Trump’s accomplishments have empowered women in the economy and workforce.​

A spokesperson for the Republican National Committee released a statement Monday:​

“Under President Trump’s leadership, the women’s unemployment rate has fallen to a near-generational low, 56% of all new jobs created have gone to women and the Child Tax Credit was doubled with the passing of President Trump’s historic tax cuts. These results paint a stark contrast against the socialist agenda of 2020 Democrats that will upend this progress for families across Ohio.”

Republican efforts in the city of Powell and Delaware County are reminiscent of those from the late summer of 2018 and the special election to fill Ohio’s 12th Congressional District seat.​ A focus was placed on that part of the district in order to sure up Republican support after some data showed a shift in voting trends.

President Trump has visited Ohio a number of times since taking office, trying to keep support in the state at the same, if not a higher, level than where it was during the 2016 presidential election.​

Perez said those efforts ring hollow, however, when viewed through the lens of what he calls “broken promises,” such as the GM plant closing in Lordstown, the lack of a replacement for the Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati and tariffs putting the squeeze on farmers across the Buckeye State.

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