McDonald switches parties to challenge Lieberman for County Commission

Republican party HQ on Linden Avenue was packed with people of color, a rare occurrence, I’m guessing, as Republican Party County Chair State Rep Phil Plummer, announces that Mary McDonald and Kate Baker will be the party candidates to take on Debbie Lieberman and Judy Dodge next year for Montgomery County Commission.

McDonald, a lifelong democrat, made the decision after losing her Trotwood Mayorship to the dem party endorsed Yvette Page in a volatile meeting in September.

Video of Dem party meeting where they jump through multiple votes to not endorse Mary McDonald.

Lieberman has been on the County Commission for almost 20 years, Dodge slightly less. There has never been a Black elected County Commissioner in Montgomery County, although one has been appointed in the past.

The Dem party blamed their un-endorsement of McDonald on her willingness to work with Republicans as she occupied a non-partisan position in a Republican dominated State. McDonald said she worked for the people, as best she could, and was proudest of bringing back a grocery store to Trotwood.

Baker, a Huber Heights Council Woman for Ward 3, was first appointed to the seat when Seth Morgan moved out of Huber Heights in a divorce in 2020. Baker later won the seat in 2021, and would have to vacate it if elected to County Commission.

Lieberman hasn’t faced many formidable challenges in her race, although virtual unknowns have come very close to beating her without too much effort. Her husband, former Montgomery County Dem Party chair, Dennis, was recently soundly defeated in his re-election bid for Clayton Council.

Dodge and Lieberman were frequently seen together like 2 peas in a pod at area restaurants and events- making a questionable quorum if they discussed County business with anyone. They would always blow off any questions of improprieties with “we’re just old friends.”

The last major candidate to switch parties was current County Treasurer John McManus who ran for State Rep against Jim Butler as a D, then turned around and ran for Treasurer as an R.

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