It was a bitter, bitter Republican primary battle between Christina Hagan (daughter of lame duck representative John Hagan) and Todd Snitchler. Don't we all remember the Ohio Election Commission battles?
And whether or not the Democrats wrest control of the Ohio House from the Republicans could hang in the balance from the political fallout as a consequence of the caustic Hagan/Snitchler primary fight.
The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) has learned from a Stark County Republican Party source that sitting Republican state Representative John Hagan is supporting Democrat Celeste DeHoff to succeed him in the Ohio House.
The Report has learned that Stark County Republican Party chair Jeff Matthews is furious with Hagan.
The Report knew that something was amiss in the post-primary Hagan/Snitchler relationship from other nuanced signs that The Report has picked up on. But Hagan's outright support for the Democrat candidate is quite a shocker. The Report understands that the Hagan homestead in Marlboro Township is plastered with DeHoff signs.
Another strange twist as background material to this bizarre political connection are the harsh words that Hagan's predecessor in the 50th (the old 56th) The Report (pre-2008) has heard Stark County Democratic Party chair Johnnie A. Maier, Jr hurl Hagan's way. Maier is DeHoff's political sponsor and has assigned Stark County Democratic Party political wannabe guru Shane Jackson as DeHoff's handler.
This story is a real head turner especially with the high stakes that could turn political fortunes one way or the other with the outcome of this race.
For Governor Ted Strickland to have much of a chance to get his "to be announced" education reform package through the Ohio General Assembly next year, he will have to have Democrats controlling the Ohio House.
With the advent of 2009, state Republicans will start lining up to run against Strickland in 2010. If Republicans still control both houses of the Ohio General Assembly, then Strickland will have to come with "hat in hand" to make good on his promise to Ohioans to resolve the school funding problem or his governorship will have been a failure.
The Report has no doubt that Strickland will cobble together some kind of deal with the Republicans (if they continue to control the Legislature) to make it subject to interpretation as to whether or not he has kept his promise. Republicans will force him to accept a plan that will leave it open to argument in the context of gubernatorial politics as to who really delivered: the Republican controlled Legislature or Governor Strickland.
Governor Strickland certainly does not want to go there ("hat in hand to the Republicans") and is working feverishly to ensure an Ohio Democratic controlled House of Representatives. He, U.S Senator Sherrod Brown, former astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn and Richard Cordray have been barnstorming competitive legislative districts to aid Democratic candidates. They were in Canal Fulton on Sunday trying to prop up DeHoff.
Who would have thunk it? Rabid Republican John Hagan politically consorting (indirectly and maybe inadvertently) with Democratic pol Johnnie A. Maier, Jr to, perhaps, deliver control of the Ohio House to the Democrats?
Indeed! "Politics do make for strange bedfellows," huh?