Saturday, February 13, 2010



It does appear that Jackson trustee James N. (Jamie) Walters is "out-to-lunch" when it comes to making political calculations.

Walters had it all set up.  He had convinced himself that he was going to be running against Todd Bosley who was to be up for re-election this November. 

Jamie had even convinced The Repository that the 2010 commissioners race (full term) was going to be a Bosley/Walters race, to wit:
At the time (about 3 months to go yet on the filing deadline), it may have looked so.  But anyone familiar with politics knows that Walters' presumption is a clear mark of an uninitiated politician.

How things change!

Bosley has ducked out of the county commissioner race because it was his worse case scenario for staying in public office.  Not so much because of Walters, but on account of having been a leading proponent of the imposed 0.50 imposed sales/use tax in December, 2008 which the voters cast aside by a 2 to 1 margin this past November.

The SCPR believes that Bosley could have narrowly defeated Walters had that race materialized.  Bosley chose a wiser course for himself.  While Todd Snitchler is already calling Bosley "Taxing Todd" (at the Stark GOP annual McKinley dinner a weeks or so ago), but the countywide tax will be less of an issue.  Snitchler is in the position of having accomplished nothing in his two years in office and will have to spend much of his campaign explaining his ineffectiveness away.  An interesting phenomenon that Bosley is banking on includes the fact that his family has been in the septic business since 1957 in large parts of the 50th and he expects the family reputation to been an unarticulated advantage to him.  Bosley still might not win, but the political environment is better for him in the 50th.

So what's to happen with Walters?

He is probably headed to political oblivion.

If Janet Creighton decides to run, it surely will be in the race that Walters has filed for.  The former mayor of Canton is a powerful political figure, but she knows that she would be facing a near certain defeat should she chose to run against former Canton city councilman and Healy administration, (chief of staff/service director) and SARTA administrator (acting CEO) Tom Bernabei.

Bernabei would swamp Creighton in the Democratic strongholds of Canton and Massillon and hold his own in many of the townships, villages and small cities sprinkled across Stark County.

However, a run against Walters (Curtician has told the SCPR he is withdrawing) is a hands down win for her, and The Report believes she beats either sitting commissioner Steve Meeks or Lawrence Township trustee Mike Stevens in the general election.

Walters' only chance at getting elected commissioner lies in Creighton deciding not to run at all.

A Walters run against Meeks or Stevens is a win for the Democrats.  Walters undoubtedly will point out that he has defeated one Meeks (Steve's wife Patty) already.  Yes, but that was a Jackson Township race and voters resented that Steve Meeks thought he could hand off a public position to a family member.  Almost anyone could have won that contest.

Meeks is already disassociating himself from the imposed tax and Walters will have a hard time pinning the imposition on Meeks.  Stevens presumably will also say that the tax should not have been imposed.  So where does that leave Walters' big issue?

Stark County countywide leans Democratic these days.  Creighton can overcome the lean, but Walters cannot.  Both Meeks and Stevens are solid enough candidates that either beats Walters if he becomes the Republican nominee because Creighton decides not to run.

We will know more come Thursday how the commissioner races unfold.

It is looking more and more that there will be contested primaries on both sides of the aisle in the fight for the nomination for the full term commissioner slot.

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