The Report, until today, has not revealed that periodically yours truly writes the Stark County Political Report while traveling across the country.
Why make the "traveling while still writing" point today?
Because there was the strangest confluence of events that clearly makes underscores that "it is a small, small world we live in," at least - sometimes.
As The Report got settled in to take a bus ride from the hotel in Chicago to McCormick Place (the convention center in the Windy City), a fellow-rider started talking with another Stark Countian in the Stark County traveling group about Stark County politics. The fellow-rider was from a nearby northeast Ohio county.
Obviously, the conversation caught the attention of the SCPR.
Yours truly sort of interrupted to ask the fellow-rider about whether or not he knew certain Stark County politicos or politically connected persons.
Just to name a few: Congressman John Boccieri, William J. Healy, II (Mayor of Canton), David Held (Mayor of North Canton) and former Stark County Democratic Party chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. And it became clear to The Report that Fellow-rider (his anonymous name for purposes of this blog) had/has extensive Columbus political connections, too.
It was Fellow-rider's Columbus connection which was the basis of the conversation becoming very interesting.
The Report made an observation to Fellow-rider about the significance of Ohio House Speaker Armond Budish having made a trip to Stark County to talk Stark County Commissioner Todd Bosley into making a run against incumbent Republican Todd Snitchler (Ohio House - 50th). Fellow-rider retorted: "But you know, Bosley was not Budish's first choice."
"Really?" The Report retorted.
Fellow-rider than went on to explain that Stark County Auditor Kim Perez was Budish's first choice.
Well, this assertion swung the SCPR into action, to wit: making a serious of phone calls:
First to Bosley and then to Perez. For yours truly knew that Perez is about as Canton-based (living outside the 50th) as one can get.
Bosley protested that Perez could not have been a candidate preferred over him. For he had seen the names on the list of possible contenders to vie for the Snitchler-held seat and Perez's was nowhere to be seen. Bosley speculated that the Perez as "top choice" was the Ohio Senate - 29th race.
Well, Bosley suggestion made sense to the SCPR inasmuch as The Report was astounded to learn of the Ohio Senate Caucus' interest in former Stark Common Pleas judge Richard Reinbold as a candidate.
As far as The Report is concerned, a Reinbold selection is about as close as one can get to running nobody as one could get (which happened last time when "musical chair" candidate and incumbent Scott Oelslager ran for his final term in Ohio's 51st Ohio House District).
Why is The Report so negative on Reinbold? Because he has no political pizzaz, no legislative experience and no real experience in running for "competitive" political office.
The Report believes that Oelslager has been largely unproductive over much of his 25 years in the Ohio General Assembly. Moreover, the Democrats, under former chairmen Maier and Ferrero, have pretty much given him an "undeserved" pass in terms of meaningful opposition and is concerned. Apparently, the Oelslager charm on the Democrats will continue under current chairman Randy Gonzalez - as a Reinbold choice seems to indicate.
Back to the Chicago story.
Next up on the "to call" list: Kim Perez himself.
Perez, indeed, confirmed that the he had been approached by the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus to run against Oelslager.
Aha! The Report was vindicated in believing that the Ohio Senate Caucus had to know - one would think - that there were better choices - in terms of electability - than Reinbold
But Perez declined Caucus entreaty out-of-hand because he is in the midst of revamping and reconfiguring computer operations within the Stark County auditor's office. However, he did not rule out a run against Oelslager in 2014.
The moral of this story? No matter where The Report finds himself, readers can be assured that the SCPR is working to bring them the latest on the inside story of Stark County politics.
From Chicago, this is the SCPR signing off.
Have a good day!
And thanks for reading the Stark County Political Report!