Saturday, August 15, 2009


UPDATED: 12:30 P.M.

Republican David Held (mayor of North Canton) is running unopposed in the Stark County Republican bastion: North Canton (November, 2009).

So why is he holding a $40 per attendee fundraiser at The Fairways Country Club on August 25th?

And he is trotting out the "biggies" of Stark County Republic politics as indicated in the list of "host committee" members in the graphic above.

The headliners are Timmy Timken of Timken Company fame, former U.S. Senator (having been defeated by Democrat Sherrod Brown in November, 2008) and now Republican candidate for Ohio attorney general Mike DeWine.

As if the "headliners" are not enough, the Held supporters threw in the Republican "holy grail" of Stark County politics and former (now retired) Congressman Ralph Regula.

Who knows, maybe even Congressman John Boccieri (Democrat - Alliance) will show up for this one?

John honors Ralph at every turn as a subtle way to entice 16th congressional district Republicans to "not really go after him" (ask Kirk Schuring about this one) come election time. Moreover, Boccieri has reason to show the "unopposed" Held some support. After all, Held was there for John when he announced for Congress at Bitzer Park about a year out from the 08 election.

But that might not play too well with Stark Democrats?

Why is that?

Well, maybe just maybe this fundraiser is designed to enrich the campaign coffers of Held so that he can take on one of the Democrat bigs in Stark county come next year.

Held has to find something to do. He may be tiring as the chief executive at the Stark-Wayne-Tuscarawas Sold Waste District especially since the inside political scuttlebutt is that Stark is looking for ways to get out of the district. David did take a serious look at applying for being the new CEO and superintendent of Stark MRDD but found out that he is defined out by the perequisites of the office.

Also, the SCPR is reminded that Held applied to be president of Malone College in 2006. So he is clearly an ambitious guy.

So there has to be some Held planning going on. No?

One has to wonder what role Mount Union professor Jack DeSario is playing in Held political future planning.

Readers will recall that DeSario's name keeps popping up in the campaigns of local politicians: e.g. Richard Regula (the former congressman's son) at the request of the congressman himself, former North Canton mayor Thomas Rice and Canton mayor Jamie Healy and, of course, Held himself.

The interesting thing about DeSario, (trained as a lawyer but, at last SCPR check, not registered with Ohio as a active practiioner) and who teaches political science at Mount Union College who moonlights as a political consultant, is the questions he seems to bring to the campaigns he is associated with.

David Held has a special relationship with DeSario. He has lived nest to DeSario for a number of years. So it is so, so easy and "natural?" that DeSario would be in the middle of his future political plans.

But what are Held's plans?

Well, there are Stark County commissioner Todd Bosley and Stark County auditor Kim Perez, both Democrats, who are up for re-election come November, 2010.

And there is big time pressure on Stark County Republican chairman Jeff Matthews to begin turning around the fortunes of the Stark County Republican Party countywide. His predecessor Curt Braden wrecked the Stark Republican organization. If Matthews does score a win soon, then he will become co-owner (with Braden) of the debacle that is occurring at 2727 Fulton Drive, NW.

So is Held being prepared to make a run at one of these offices?

Bosley has worked hard to cultivate a friendly relationship with Held. Though Bosley is one of the most intense politicians in Stark County that will dig out political dirt on an opponent who everyone else thinks is "squeaky clean" as part of his standard operating procedure in running for public office, he seems preoccupied with who the Republicans will put up against him in 2010.

It could be that Bosley is worrying about the effect his participation in imposing the .5 sales tax will have on his re-election effort especially if the Tom Marcelli led effort to get a repeal of the tax on the November, 2009 ballot and the tax gets repealed.

If this saga plays out, Bosley could be vulnerable.


He just wins. The SCPR has a hard time figuring this one out. But it could be that the Braden/Matthews led Republicans send the politically uninitiated (Luther and Fallot) after him.

Would Held be any better?

Not in the opinion of the SCPR.

Stark County at-large is not North Canton and you can be sure that Perez will repeat what he did (probably better than any other Stark Democrat) to Luther and Fallot in the urban parts of the county (Alliance, Canton and Massillon): GOTV in solidly Democratic precincts. The SCPR believes that if Democrats running for countywide office focus thusly, it is virtually impossible for a Republican to win.

It is desperation time for Stark Republicans. Even in the face of a number of Democrat officeholders (Zeigler, Healy, Ferguson and Harmon) trying to self-destruct.

So it could be that the star-studded Republican line up for David Held is a prelude to a attempt by the Stark County Republican Party to come back to life.

A reinvigorated, highly competitive Stark County Republican Party is critical if Stark County is ever going to dig itself out out the mess it finds itself today.

Republican one-party-rule over about 16 years put Ohio in a deep economic hole and the hole has only gotten deeper with the recession now going on.

Democrats have done the same to Stark.

With the likes of "teabaggers" Matthews and his operative Jason Wise running for Stark Republicans, it is hard to be optimistic that the local GOP is going to revivify any time soon.

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