Chief Democrat: What can party do to win back Valley voters? - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Chief Democrat: What can party do to win back Valley voters?

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BOARDMAN, Ohio -

Last year thousands of valley Democrats changed parties to vote for Donald Trump.

Now national party leaders are trying to find out why.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez was in Boardman Friday to talk with voters about why loyal Democrats voted for Trump.

The chairman says he wants to know what the party needs to do to get them back.

While at Wedgewood Pizza in Boardman, Perez told 21 News that the party needs to reach out to Democrats to find out what is important to them.

"The reason I'm out here is because we need to listen to folks. We need to speak to them and articulate what we stand for. We stand for good jobs. We stand for economic security. We believe health care is a right for all and not a privilege for a few.," said Perez.

The Mahoning County Republican Party held their own event with former Democrats who explained why they crossed over.

Mah. Co. Republican Party Chairman, Mark Munroe, said, "I found the whole event kind of strange because you had to pay $25 to come and express your opinion. If they want to find out why Democrats have become Republicans they need to talk to Republicans because the Dems who have crossed over are not going to be inclined to pay $25 contribution to a Democrat party event."

Geno DiFabio of Youngstown said he had been a Democrat since childhood but he changed last year.  "Every 2 years every 4 years locally they'd come around and say oh we'll fight for you and take care of you and then they'd disappear. It was like an abusive relationship."

"We don't have to be bought with food stamps or with telephones or with whatever," said Khadija Gillette of Struthers.

But Perez predicts Democrat victories throughout Ohio and the nation because he believes Americans will see Trump initiatives will fail.

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