COLUMBUS - David Duffey, a top staffer of the Ohio Democratic Party who got his start in politics in Toledo, died today, state party Chairman Chris Redfern announced. He was 59.
Mr. Duffey was operations director and worked for the party since 1988.
He was hired in 1981 as executive director of the Lucas County Democratic Party by then-Chairman Jim Ruvolo. Mr. Ruvolo became state Democratic chairman in 1983 and hired Mr. Duffey as the state party's director of operations in 1988.
A native of Silver Lake, near Akron, Mr. Duffey graduated from the University of Toledo law school.
"He was incredibly industrious, incredibly committed to the Democratic Party. He was very progressive. This was not a middle of the road Democrat. He was from the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. He was someone who felt passionately about social welfare issues," said Mr. Ruvolo, now a political consultant.
"He was terrific. It didn't matter what you needed done, he did it," Mr. Ruvolo said. He said Mr. Duffey sometimes brought homemade pizzas to the party headquarters. He also said Mr. Duffey became an expert on increasingly complex state and federal campaign laws.
“Without reservation, David dedicated both his personal and professional life to furthering our Democratic values each and every day,” Mr. Redfern said. “David was a friend to generations of Democrats across our state, and he will be sorely missed in the days ahead."
The cause of death was not immediately available.