Last week the SCPR got a call from a leading Stark County Republican who shared some names of Republicans who are looking at challenging Congressman John Boccieri in November, 2010.
In another conversation with Kirk Schuring (Republican - Ohio Senate - 29th), the SCPR was told that the chances of Schuring running are "between slim and none and Slim just left town."
An old name that came up in the first conversation was Matt Miller. Former Ashland County Commissioner Miller (he left office in December, 2008 after eight years in office) a courageous young man (31 years old), has taken on two of the strongest political names in Stark County and done well.
Here are the results of his previous races:
It may appear from the numbers above, if he were to run again, that Miller needs to focus on Stark County. And he does. However, in the view of the SCPR he can only win in Stark if he moderates his "right wingishness on social issues"
Moderation is essential not only to win the Republican primary. But, if he would win the Republican primary, to have any chance at all to defeat Boccieri in the general election.
The SCPR does not see Miller moderating and therefore a Miller primary victory would likely mean Democrat Boccieri victory.
The Report went out on the Internet and looked up information about Miller and rather than repeat that information here, here are some links for you to click on to find out more about him:
- From the Medina Gazette (a bio type piece on Miller).
- His Facebook page.
- Miller's website when he last ran for congress.
Saturday, the SCPR ran a piece on Phil Kiko who is also said to be exploring a race against Boccieri. Yesterday, the possible run of Jim Renacci was covered.
As the campaign progresses, the SCPR will be right on top of the inside story of who which Republican will end up as the Republican National Campaign Committee (RNCC) candidate for the 16th.
In the opinion of the SCPR Boccieri will be both more vulnerable and less vulnerable. More defeatable in the sense of having a voting record, if the challenger can use the record to separate some "independent" voters from Boccieri.
Less like to lose in the sense that Boccieri as an incumbent is building up a campaign war chest from sources that weren't up to supporting him prior to his election to the House and Boccieri voting their way. Morover, he gets opportunities for publicity on his work in Congress that are not available to challengers.
No matter who the Republican nominee is, the odds do not favor taking out incumbent Democrat John Boccieri. Any chance that the Republicans to reclaim this seat is probably in the 2010 election. If Boccieri wins in 2010, then it gets progressively more difficult to unseat him in succeeding elections.
Although the SCPR does not believe the report that Boccieri is considering abandoning Congress to run for lieutenant governor of Ohio as Ted Strickland's running mate, stranger things have happened in politics.
A challengers correct or incorrect assessment of Boccieri's future political plans could loom large in this race.