Monday, June 16, 2008


John M. Easterday (Republican - Canton) has been in business for 37 years.

Stephen D. Slesnick (Democrat - Canton and the sitting "appointed" successor to William Healy, II) is only 30 years old.

At age 69, Easterday makes the point that he is not likely to be a career politician. Slesnick was a surprise nominee coming out of Democratic primary because he did run against a number of career politicians. Does his youth and early political success suggest that Slesnick is on his way to becoming a career politician himself?

Easterday promotes, as an advantage to his candidacy, that he doesn't have to learn by his mistakes; that he as a business person for decades now, knows what works and what doesn't. In effect, Easterday is trying to use his age as a positive.

Slesnick is from a well-known Canton area scrap metal business who has been provided an avenue into business by his family. By virtue of his youth, it stands to reason that Slesnick has much to learn about the "lessons of life" that Easterday claims he has already mastered.

The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) in reviewing the contestants answers to questionnaires constructed by and published by The Repository (link to Easterday and Slesnick), assesses that Slesnick has a better handle on Ohio issues that impact Stark County. In fact, Easterday failed to respond to the question: "What are the Stark County issues that need attention in Columbus?"

In a previous write-up on this race, The Report noted that Slesnick impresses as a sitting "appointed" representative by his virtue of his initiative in communication with constituents and the media on his early work in the Legislature.

Easterday has a huge uphill climb to best Slesnick in November - a task that The Report believes in not doable; provided, of course, that nothing lurks in Slesnick's past or in his conduct through November 4th that dramatically changes the complexion of the 52nd District contest.

The Report believea that this contest's outcome is a safe bet for Slesnick and he will be focusing on helping Celeste DeHoff in the 50th to take away a Republican seat.

It makes sense for Slesnick to do so. If the Democrats gain control of the Ohio House; control will empower Slesnick to make headway on his twin campaign goals of fixing public education financing and Ohio's economical development.

The difference between Slesnick and DeHoff is that The Report looks for Slesnick to be given a leadership role in the Ohio General Assembly whereas DeHoff will not, if she makes it at all.

The questions: Will the Slesnick/Easterday contest devolve into a age issue? Is this a race at all? Will Slesnick be energizing the DeHoff face off with Todd Snitchler?

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