Tims to lead statewide policy group

Democrat Desiree Tims lives in a West Dayton house that her grandfather bought after he left the cotton fields of Alabama for the steel mills of Ohio.
Democrat Desiree Tims lives in a West Dayton house that her grandfather bought after he left the cotton fields of Alabama for the steel mills of Ohio.

Credit: Laura Bischoff

Credit: Laura Bischoff

After losing a bid for a Congressional seat, Democrat Desiree Tims is taking over as chief executive of Innovation Ohio, a statewide liberal leaning policy research and advocacy group based in Columbus.

Tims, 33, began the new job Jan. 4.

“I am looking forward to expanding the organization’s work and making sure we lean in on accountability,” Tims said Tuesday in an interview with the Dayton Daily News. Innovation Ohio wants to hold elected leaders in Congress, the Statehouse and local offices accountable for issues that are important to Ohioans, she said.

Innovation Ohio and its affiliate, Innovation Ohio Education Fund, focus on public education, gun safety, gender equality and worker issues such as paid leave. IRS tax filings for the two groups show they had combined $1.16 million in revenues in 2019.

Tims said she hopes to increase Innovation Ohio’s fundraising so she can hire more research and communications staff.

In 2020, Tims unsuccessfully challenged Republican Mike Turner, a nine-term incumbent, to represent the 10th District in Congress. Turner won re-election, capturing 58.4% of the vote to Tims’ 41.6%.

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Tims said she is seeking advice from Innovation Ohio staff and other liberal research groups on how the organization should be reshaped. The goal is to avoid redundancies with other groups and do more work where its needed, she said.

“I’m really excited to have an opportunity to contribute to change in my community,” Tims said.

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