Thursday, May 23, 2013


UPDATE:  05/28/2013

See Youngstown Vindicator article Ex-Congressman doesn't plan to run next year (LINK).

 Boccieri on Future Congressional Run
(Prelude:  Barb Lewis on Boccieri-provided Flag)

Boccieri Assessment on Bob Gibbs as Candidate

It appears to the SCPR that former 16th District (back in the days when the district included all of Stark County) John Boccieri is about to announce whether or not he will be seeking to return to Congress in the fall elections of 2014.

Back in January, Boccieri undoubtedly caused a stir in the heart of Stark County Democrat Barb Lewis when he announced that he had filed papers with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to run against 7th District Congressman Bob Gibbs in November, 2014.

On July 17, 2012, Boccieri (because of what appears to have been a intentional effort by Speaker of the House John Boehner, Congressman Gibbs and Congressman Jim Renacci [current 16th District representative] - all Republicans), a resident in fellow Democrat Tim Ryan's 13th District, made an appearance as an Obama surrogate at the Obama for President campaign headquarters in downtown Canton at the headquarters opened in the drive to re-elect the President in 2012.

One of the points that came up in the Rally for Obama was a statement by Stark County Democratic Headquarters office manager Barb Lewis expressing appreciation that Boccieri had donated the use of an American flag for the occasion.

But she added:  "He is not getting it back until he agrees to run for Congress."

Well, it is looking more and more like Boccieri may be in a position, if he so desires, to reclaim the flag.

While there is no doubt that Boccieri's wife will have a huge say in whether or not he run, apparently, the remaining determining factors are twofold as to whether or not he will "throw his hat into the ring" in the 7th District or the 16th District.

And the factors are?
  1. What the polls are showing as to his relative chances to unseat Bob Gibbs in the 7th or Jim Renacci in the 16th.
  2. Once the odds are determined whether or not his commander-in-chief (his wife) will hear to his running.

The 16th District

A couple of days ago the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sponsored polling took place this past Monday within the 16th Congressional District on the question of Boccieri's viability as a candidate against sitting Congressman Jim Renacci.

Of course, it does not take polling to know that the 16th is competitive.

And it appears that the Democrats already know the 16th is competitive, the poll must be directed to some specific concerns the Dems have in terms of how to strategize the 2014 election.

"We think the district is competitive, and we think Mr. Renacci is vulnerable for a host of reasons" is what a knowledgeable national Democrat told the Plain Dealer.

In a face off between Renacci and former 13th District Congresswoman Betty Sutton forced because of the gerrymandering engineered by Ohio's Republican leadership in 2011, the final outcome proved the point:

About 15,500 votes separated the two in nearly 350,000 total votes cast.

Boccieri would have to turn around about 7,800 votes in order to reclaim the 16th District for the Democrats.

The 7th District

It appears to the SCPR that it would be more difficult for Boccieri to turn things around in the 7th.

About 40,000 votes separated Democrat Healy-Abrams (sister of Canton mayor William J. Healy, II) and Republican Gibbs.

Though Stark County is by far and away is the most populous part of the 7th (e.g.  Stark polled about 105,000 votes in 2012 whereas the next highest county [Lorain] polled fewer that 40,000), Boccieri would have to turn around 20,000 or better votes to send Gibbs packing.

The SCPR does not see any problem with Healy-Abrams stepping aside (assuming she is interested in a rematch in 2014) for Boccieri should he opt to run in the 7th.  The Healys are ardent John Boccieri folks.

Boccieri has said that he is not impressed with Gibbs' fundraising ability which might be a lure for the former congressman to take on the sitting congressman.

However, Boccieri can be sure that if the control of the U.S. House of Representative, if not the entire Congress is at stake in 2014, national Republicans will make sure that Gibbs has whatever he needs to make his case to 7th District voters.

Boccieri assessed in 2012 that Gibbs "is not that strong of a candidate," in his race against Healy-Abrams.  And that may be.  But he did best Healy-Abrams by 40,000 plus votes.

Only if Boccieri thinks he can better the Democratic numbers in the Stark, Lorain and Medina County parts of the 7th, does it make sense that he opts to run in the 7th.


Probably the 16th in the opinion of SCPR.

Why so?

First  of all, it has to stick in the craw of John Boccieri to have lost to Renacci in 2010.

And, secondly, the newly configured 16th seems to be a better mix (in terms of the R & D mix and the somewhat more progressive voter mindset [than in the 7th]) from which Boccieri needs to achieve a turnaround from Republican to Democratic.


Family is a huge factor with John Boccieri.

By 2013 standards, the Boccieri has a very large family.   And a central figure in John's political future is wife Stacey.  In a video interview back in July, 2012, Boccieri made it abundantly clear that he takes his family responsibilities very seriously and is not about to make a decision to run for office without the blessing of his wife.

Undoubtedly, wife Stacey wants John close to home to be in a better position to help raise the Boccieri brood.

But one has to believe that she also cares about the nation and providing President Obama the support he needs in Congress to get his programs and policies enacted.

One commander-in-chief to the rescue of another Commander-in-Chief, no?


The SCPR thinks John Boccieri will run and that it will be in the 16th Congressional District.

National Democrats are hungering and thirsting to achieve a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and it appears to The Report that John Boccieri could well be their ticket to picking up one seat.

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