Monday, January 23, 2012


A properly run campaign should make Ohio's 50th House District competitive for Stark County Democrats this year.

Appointed (March, 2011) Republican Christina Hagan should be vulnerable on at least a couple accounts.

First, she is a political party appointee and has never been elected to anything as a candidate for public office.  It is a political truism that the best opportunity to defeat an in-office candidate is the first time they have to stand for election.

Second, as the Republican appointee to succeed Lake Township Republican Todd Snitchler who has become Governor Kasich's PUCO chairman, she has shown herself to be a consummately committed Republican - over and beyond the public good - who has supported some highly unpopular causes in Stark County.

A couple of examples:  Senate Bill 5 (Ohio ballot initiative issue #2) - the attack on the collective bargaining rights of teachers, fireman, policemen and other public workers - and her votes to gut state funding of local government by supporting cuts in the Local Government Fund of Ohio's budget (about 50%, on average) and the taking away of significant local government revenues by voting to eliminate Ohio's estate tax beginning in January, 2013.

But did the Democrats pick someone to run against Christina Hagan who can put together a proper campaign?

Of course, it remains to be seen, but the SCPR is skeptical that the Dems have done so in selecting Alliance Councilwoman Sue Ryan.

Why is that?

First, is that appears that she is a desperation candidate (from the perspective of Ohio House Minority Leader Armond Budish).

The Report does not believe that Ryan was ever his first choice but rather a bottom of the list - if all else fails - candidate.  What's more, being on Budish's list at all is suspect in terms of political viability.

Budish surprised political junkies of all stripes when he focused in on former Stark County Commissioner Todd Bosley to run against Snitchler in his re-election bid in November, 2010.  Bosley had been whipped soundly by the "Vote No Increased Taxes Committee" in November, 2009 over a Bosley inspired and led imposed 0.5% sales tax increase.

What made Budish think for "one New York second" that Bosley had any chance whatsoever against Snitchler?

Even though the likes of yours truly knew that Bosley had no chance against Snitchler because of the imposed tax issue, there was pause for thought when the Ohio Democratic Caucus pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into a nasty (e.g. Bosley comparing Snitchler to a rat) effort to unseat Snitchler.

As it turns out, the intuition was right on the mark and Budish proved to be "out there" in political "LA-LA Land" somewhere.

Ryan herself has as a spotted political record in her home turf of Alliance:

To the SCPR, Plain Township Louis Giavasis was the only Democrat in the 50th House District who had a realistic chance to defeat Hagan.  But as it turns out, Giavasis is unwilling to give up his political comfort of being a Plain Township trustee for some 20 years.

That she was way down on the priority list of candidates does not bode well for Ryan.

But has pointed out earlier in this blog, she does have some issues to work with.

We shall see in coming months how much political savvy she has as a candidate.

Rather than call Hagan a twit on her facebook page (whom it would be embarrassing to lose to), Ryan needs to be out working teachers, firefighters and policemen  and other public workers (and there well-moneyed unions) that would have been affected adversely by Senate Bill 5 (State Issue #2) and building up a formidable force of campaign workers and donors.

If she is to have a chance to defeat Hagan, this is one of a number of things Ryan needs to do.

Another thing that Hagan is vulnerable on is her legislative participation in the gutting of local government funding.

Ryan needs to be working city halls, township halls and village halls in the 50th with one simple message:  "you can trace your local government funding problems to your state representative - Christina Hagan. - I will work to restore that funding!"

Ryan already has a strike or two against her that Dem Minority Leader Armond Budish had to beg her to become the candidate.

And if she is half-hearted in her campaign and does not exploit to the utmost Hagan's vulnerabilities, then:

The SCPR's suspicion that Armond is using her as mere political fodder will proved to be well-founded and that her recruitment by Budish was early indication that she never really had "a ghost of a chance!"

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