Friday, May 30, 2014



UPDATE:  11:28 AM (05/30/2014)

The SCPR has been told by a number of sources that Stark County Democratic Party  (SCDP) chairman Randy Gonzalez has sent out a letter to those central committee (CC) persons who voted for George T. Maier to be the Dems' appointee as sheriff of Stark County  . . .  (only kidding Randy, for background see this SCPR blog) announcing his retirement as party chairman effective June 5th with the selection of his replacement by the SCDP-CC on the 5th.

Gonzalez's former boss at the Canton Municipal Court clerk of courts office (from which Gonzalez retired as chief deputy clerk of courts in December, 2013); namely, Phil Giavasis is rumored to have Gonzalez's blessing as his successor.  However, he reportedly has been having second thoughts about becoming chairman.

One source mentions Gonzalez son Kody as a potential player.

Kody succeeded Randy as chief deputy on the latter's retirement.

About a year ago rumors were rampant that Randy was stepping down as Party chairman, which, of course, did not materialize.  The SCPR at that time asked the senior Gonzalez about to son-succession speculation.

His answer?

"I wouldn't wish that (the Dems' chairmanship) on anybody, certainly not my son!"

We shall see very soon now!

Gonzalez has been chairman since 2009 when he took over for his political protege Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.

His tenure as chairman has included the most difficult thing that any political party chairman has ever had to do with his having to guide the SCDP-CC through the process of appointing a Republican to an important Stark County office.

On October 31, 2011 he presided over the appointment of Alliance Republican Alex Zumbar as Stark County treasurer.

Democrat Gary D. Zeigler had resigned/retired as county treasurer on October 11th in a deal with the Stark County commissioners in resolving a lawsuit filed by Democratic Stark County prosecutor John D. Ferrero to make recoveries on behalf of Stark County under the provisions of Ohio statutory law.

From a October 19, 2011 SCPR blog:
Zeigler has been under public fire since April 1, 2009 when Stark County was rocked by a revelation that his Chief Deputy Vince Frustaci had stolen, by some accounts, $2.96 million (Frustaci has only ever admitted to $2.46 million.

Ever since the revelation, Zeigler has been under public pressure to resign.  But he, until today, refused to do so saying that he had done nothing wrong.

Zeigler was not implicated in the theft by federal, state, or local law enforcement officials.
Another storied  political legend happening during the Gonzalez reign as chairman was the appointment of George T. Maier as the Dems' successor to Mike McDonald as sheriff of Stark County.

McDonald, elected in November, 2012 was unable to take office on January 7,2013 due to an illness which tragically claimed his life on February 22, 2013.

In a touch of irony, it was McDonald who helped Gonzalez corral resistant SCDP-CC members to supporting the chairman in his quest to have Republican Zumbar appointed with this speech to SCDP-CC members on October 31, 2011.

In a tortured process, Gonzalez was under a lot of strain in working through the process (February 5, 2013 and December 11, 2013) in getting Maier appointed.

Chairman Gonzalez may think that it is "mission accomplished" with respect to the Maier appointment with his (Maier) having survived a Stark County Board of Elections process (followed by a secretary of state and Ohio Supreme Court process) over his right to be on the November ballot.

However, in a conversation that the SCPR had with a leading player in the BOE fight, The Report was impliedly told that Maier's status as sheriff is still subject to further legal challenge.

It will be interesting to see whether or not this was mere "huffing and puffing" or Stark County is in for another round of turmoil on the sheriff situation.

To Gonzalez, the Maier appointment sticking and his election has to be on reflection the major accomplishment of his tenure as chairman.

As far as the SCPR is concerned, the Gonzalez time as chairman has been example of the statement of humorist Will Rogers when he said: "I am not the member of an organized political party, I am a Democrat."

Stark County's "organized" Democrats have proved to be a rather "unruly" group during the Randy Gonzalez stint as the Stark County Democratic Party chairman.

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