Sunday, June 15, 2008


Ohio’s 50th House District is a key district in determining whether the Republicans continue to control the Ohio General Assembly (OGA) or control becomes a split decision.

This Stark County district, should it decide to send Democrat candidate Celeste DeHoff to Columbus, could shape policy decisions emanating from Columbus. The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) belives that this district which has been gerrymander to ensure that a Republicans continue to hold the seat is a key to the direction that Ohio is be headed in.

Should Republican Todd Snitchler be elected, the Republicans may still control the OGA. There are contested districts among Ohio’s 99 that are likely to go Democratic in 2008 which are competitive in most election cycles and therefore do not necessarily harbinger a shift.

The election of DeHoff would certainly indicate a shift because the 50th going Democratic would likely be part of a number of gerrymandered Republican districts (four to six in number) breaking with their past and turning Democratic.

The Report has questions as to whether or not DeHoff has the kind of political heft to turn over the 50th. She is in the thrall of Chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., of the Stark County Democratic Party (who drafted her out of a lifelong involvement with the Stark County Republican Party) and will be taking her marching orders from the chairman. Moreover, looking at her website (which was a long time in coming), it appears as if she will not be contributing her ideas to the legislative mix but will be accepting lock-stock-and-barrel the legislative agenda of the Strickland administration (which is congruent with her being controlled by Maier).

But Republican Snitchler is not exactly a candidate to write home about. He is married to the Ohio Chamber of Commerce which in the eyes of The Report has less and less clout with voters these days.

As pointed out in previous articles by The Report, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce has been linked arm-in-arm with the Ohio Republican Party over the nearly two decades the GOP has had absolute control over Ohio government. What is the significance of the bonded relationship? Ohio’s economy has sunk to it lowest levels in modern times while the Chamber has more or less been in charge of Ohio economic development.

So why voters support a candidate who has wedded himself to a failed organization?

Considering the foregoing points about both candidates, The Report posits that the voters will have a very difficult time deciding between these two.

If the choice boils down to DeHoff and Snitchler, The Report believes that each candidate has enough negatives and virtually no positives that voters will be voting on the flip of a coin.

A variant that may be introduced into this race is the possibility that Democrat Mike Stevens who narrowly lost to DeHoff in the Democratic primary may run as a “write-in” candidate.

Assuming that it will be DeHoff versus Snitchler, The Report believes that this race is “to close to call” in mid-June.

Agree or disagree?

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