The face of the Republican Party in Stark County is Stark County Commissioner Janet Creighton. Not Stark GOP chairman Jeff Matthews.
Sure he was first up in the run-up to Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan taking the microphone. But Jeff Matthew has never been elected to anything from Stark County's complete voter base.
Janet Creighton has.
She has been Stark County recorder, Stark County auditor, mayor of Canton and now Stark County commissioner.
However, Matthews was first at the lectern on Thursday and therefore the SCPR presents his introduction to the festivities.
While there is no doubt that Commissioner Creighton is a committed Republican, she is one of those staunch partisans who knows how to separate the Stark County community-at-large interests from partisan politics. There were few at Thursday's event the SCPR believes cannot do so (e.g. state Rep. Christina Hagan, R - Marlboro). Hagan would do well to be schooled in the appropriateness of the how, when, and where of partisan zeal at the feet of Creighton.
Here is Creighton in all her "appropriate" Republican glory on Thursday.
A newcomer to Stark County is Congressman Bob Gibbs (a Republican from Holmes County). By the SCPR take on the upcoming election he could be facing an upset at the hands of Democrat Joyce Healy-Abrams (brother of Mayor William J. Healy, II of Canton).
Because of decentennial redistricting, he no longer has the comfort zone of running in the district he has been serving in (the 18th). About 70% of the 18th is missing from the new 7th District which includes most of Stark County and all of Canton (except The Timken Company complex which 16th District Congressman Jim Reanacci had gerrymandered into his district).
It's always a challenge to defeat an incumbent, but perhaps an issue like Paul Ryan's prescription for reigning in the entitlement program Medicare costs (possibly passing on insurance premium costs in excess of a government provided voucher to recipients) might be the godsend that candidates like Healy-Abrams need to pull a victory over an incumbent Republican off.
Here is what Gibbs had to say about Ryan and his policies in the lead-up to Ryan's appearance.
And speaking of Jim Renacci (who is facing a challenge of his own from Democrat incumbent Congresswoman Betty Sutton of Copley, Summit County [now the 13th District but facing off against Renacci in the 16th because of redistricting]); he was given the honor of the direct introductory remarks bringing Paul Ryan on stage.
If it turns out that the Ryan Budget Plan which is perceived by many Americans as being "the beginning of the end of Medicare as we know it" results in his defeat at the hand of Sutton; whether or not (post-mortem-election) he will be wanting to take these words back?