Sunday, February 7, 2010


Conventional Stark County political wisdom has it that there is no way a Republican can win Ohio's 52nd Ohio House district.

And convention is probably right on the mark in this case.

However, this time around it appears that the Republicans are offering an attrative candidate this time around.  Travis Secrest, said by some to be in line to succeed Jason Wise as executive director of the Stark Repubiican Party between now an May, has taken out petitions to run for the office.
If Secrest plays his political cards right, he could be like the Tortoise in the Tortoise and the Hare.race fable wherein the hare naps and consequently the tortoise gets poised to and actually wins the race.

It is not likely that Secrest will best Slesnick in the 52nd, but the SCPR believes he has a chance.

Becoming the executive director of the Stark GOP probably would not enhance his chances of unseating Slesnick.  The city of Canton (which comprises most of the district) is overwhelmingly Democratic.  For many Democrats, it is a big leap to vote for a Republican in the first place let alone voting for an executive director of the Stark GOP.

And there is an opening to Secrest to exploit the nearly 71% of Democrats who did not vote for Slesnick in the 2008 Democratic primary.

Secrest, who ran for township trustee (Canton Township - the other major component of the 52nd) a number of years ago and narrowly lost, needs to base his campaign on his near success and pick up on the the disaffection with Democrats (mostly Mayor Healy - Slesnick is close to Healy) to get enough votes  added to a significant Canton Township plurality (he absolutely needs) to get coming out of Canton Township to pull off a squeaker.

And believe me, if Secrest wins, it will be because Slesnick has gone to sleep during the race.

Slesnick, in the opinion of the SCPR, has all the attributes that makes for him to be an "overconfident" hare.  He relied on his family name (the "Slesnick" salvage operations) to slip past a large field of Democrats in 2008.  

In the opinion of the SCPR, state Representative Stephen Slesnick has done nothing to distinguish himself in the Ohio House.  Moreover, his public presentation and articulation skills are virtually non-existent.

Secrest ran a well-articulated campaign against the now former commissioner Tom Harmon in November, 2008.

But Harmon has been a political fixture in Stark County for over 30 years and to expect a newbie like Secrest to unseat the likes of Harmon is a bit much.

Slesnick is a different story.

Secrest does have a chance.

Will he be up to it?  Can he be the tortoise who overcomes the hare?

If he does, then Stark County will have a representative who has demonstrated that he has productive thinking skills and the articulation skills to make him a leadership figure in the 129th Ohio General Assembly. 

And he will have proved that Republicans can be successful in the Democratic urban strongholds of Stark County.  Such will have the effect of encouraging Republicans to run countywide and break the stranglehold that the Dems now have over all of Stark's non-judicial countywide offices.

Political competition is the first cousin of political accountability!

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