In the video posted below, Stark County Democratic Party chair Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. tells a Celeste DeHoff campaign rally how important the 50th Ohio House District was?
Maier put everything he had as a veteran Stark County and Ohio politician into this race.
The stakes could not be higher for Maier.
Win and be celebrated in Columbus as a re-validated mythological-esque party chieftain that can - when devoted and committed to the cause - make a winner out of even the most non-descript candidate (as the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT [The Report] believes DeHoff was).
Lose and tarnishment of the mythological image as the handiwork of losing begins its erosive work.
Undoubtedly, Maier pushed the Ohio Democratic House caucus to put tons of money into DeHoff's campaign. He got Governor Strickland, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, Ohio Treasurer (now attorney general) Richard Cordray as well as former senator and U.S. astronaut John Glenn to come to Stark County to campaign for DeHoff. Stark County Democratic political strategist and tactician Shane Jackson was put to work on the campaign. Massillon councilwoman (and, in the opinion of The Report - likely candidate for Massillon mayor in 2011) Kathy Catazaro-Perry was brought on board as campaign treasurer.
And, the field was ripe to be harvested! The 50th was an open seat. Veteran politicians covet running for an open seat. Especailly a seat like this one which was gerrymanndered Republican to keep it Republican. The time to turn a gerrymandered seat over is when it is open.
So why did DeHoff err Maier lose?
The Report believes that Maier chose DeHoff because of personal political loyalty factors. It's hard to believe that a political warhorse like Maier would do such a politically foolish thing. In a Republican district you pick a candidate
For a politico like Maier and consummate politicos everywhere - winning is everything, especially when that politico has put his/her political prestige on the line.
You notice that Barack Obama did not go to Georgia, as president-elect, to campaign for the Democrat senatorial candidate in his run-off against Saxbe Chambliss. Why? Because the on-the-ground-politicos knew the odds of the Democrat winning were between "slim and none" and slim just left town.
Obama's political people were not about to allow party loyalty to tarnish his impressive political victory over McCain.
So yes, The Report says that the "real" loser in the 2008 Ohio House 50th District was none other than Stark County Democratic Party chair Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.
In the 50th District House race, personal political loyalties trumped everything Maier knows about political realities.