A Journey to Leadership

Oct 9, 2018

When I decided to run for the Ohio House 80th District, I knew the price would be public judgment on every decision I made in life. I recognize I owe the voters of the 80th district an honest accounting of a dark chapter.

Over a decade ago, as a 19-year-old at the University of Montana, I made a series of poor associations that led to an incident that will remain one Google search away for the rest of my life.

Fortunately, that article doesn’t tell my entire story; the one where I was ultimately never convicted of anything.

And while I will always regret not being the man then that I am today, that incident proved to be a pivotal turning point in my life. I knew I was better than that, and I’ve spent every day since trying to prove it.

My girlfriend of seven years heard about it on our first date. I’ve discussed it with co-workers at company Christmas parties. I talked about it a month ago when asked at a meeting of the Miami County Democratic Women.

I have never hidden from my past or how it forged me into the man I am today. I welcome any vetting of personal history because this election is bigger than a poor decision I made over a decade ago in college.

I’m relieved to get this off my chest and get back to the issues that matter to the working families of the 80th District. Opponents are welcome to continue nitpicking my past behind my back; we’ll see which side has been more honest about their backstory at upcoming candidate forums in Troy, Greenville and Piqua.

The fight continues,

D.J. Byrnes