J. DAVID RESS
Probably, the SCPR thinks, Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry as the nominee for the "disunited" Massillon Democratic Party.
There are a least three factions of Democrats in Massillon city politics:
- the Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr. Democrats,
- the John Ferrero Democrats (JFD), and
- the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. Massillon Political Machine Democrats (MMPMD),
And if you believe the Mayor Kathy spin, there is the non-Democrat Democratic challenger for mayor J. David Ress.
The SCPR understands that Catazaro-Perry's major attack on her "Democratic?" opponent J. David Ress is that he is not shown in Stark County Board of Elections records as having voted in a partisan primary election as a Democrat.
And that could be to quote Vice President Joe Biden "a really big ... deal!"
It depends on how seriously Massillon Democratic voters take partisan involvement.
And, it depends, according to Ress - if as a registered Democrat, a Democratic voter:
- loathes Catazaro-Perry, perhaps as a member of or sympathizer with or influenced by the Ferrero wing of the Massillon Democratic Party, or
- loves Catazaro-Perry, perhaps as a member of or sympathizer with or influenced by the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr loyalists.
So though not formally registered as a Democrat, that is until he casts his ballot in the underway Democratic primary election which concludes next Tuesday.
Ress says that the major attraction to his taking up Ferrero's goading him to run is the nearly non-stop discord between the mayor and Massillon City Council since she took office in January, 2012.
In the 2011 Democratic primary election, Catazaro-Perry defeated the 28 year mayor Cicchinelli as the proxy for the MMPM. Maier, Jr. and Cicchinelli have been political competitors since their days as students at Kent State - Stark.
The Report is told that the the mayor has been "playing nice" with council for about two months now.
The SCPR was at last night's council work session and the mayor couldn't have been more charming.
A far cry from "the temper tantrum" she had back in July, 2014 when acting council presiding officer Paul Manson had to gavel her down.
But nobody expects that to last beyond the primary election should she lose and should she survive the primary, then beyond the November general election, win or lose.
When she wants to be, the mayor can be quite charming fits in well with the Massillon/Stark County high society types she likes to fraternize with.
But make no mistake about it, she can be - if anybody dare cross her - be a very belligerent lady.
There was a little bit of a test for the mayor's charm offensive last night.
She and Councilman Ed Lewis, IV (a Ward 6 Republican) seemingly agreed to disagree on the how to prioritize allocating the sparse Massillon dollars to highway repair.
Lewis talked about doing a road near a Massillon school for the safety of school children.
Catazaro-Perry went to bat for Southway near the Freshmark plant so that the company could have an easier time turning its trucks around.
Being "the unaffected by political connections" person she is in her administration of Massillon City Government, does anybody doubt that in advocating for the Southway project that Freshmark's CEO and Chairman Neil Genshaft's $1,035.00 campaign contribution (see contribution list below) never entered her mind?
Though the SCPR expects Catazaro-Perry to defeat the Ress challenge next Tuesday, she will actually have "a finger nail biting time" through about 4:00 p.m. on Monday, May 4th.
Monday is the deadline for Cicchinelli to decide whether or not to file as an independent candidate to challenge her in November.
If he does (and the SCPR has a report that he has circulated petitions but has not made a definite decision) presuming she wins next Tuesday, it will be Cicchinelli, Catazaro-Perry and Republican Lee Brunckhart in November.
Should Ress shock everybody in the Stark County political community and defeat the mayor, then Ress says he has assurances that Cicchinelli will withdraw.
And a shock it indeed would be were Catazaro-Perry to lose.
On a relative scale, it would be in the order of Republican U.S. Representative Eric Cantor's stunning loss in the Republican primary in 2014.
Looking comparatively at the Catazaro-Perry/Ress campaign finance reports filed last Thursday showing fund raising activities through April 15th, the mayor has a massive lead, to wit:
And here are the complete campaign contributor lists (which replicates the employees listed above in Catazaro-Perry list.
Last night the SCPR sat down with J. David Ress and discussed the campaign with him from his perspective.