WILL HE MAKE A COMEBACK?
CANTON CITY COUNCIL
MAYOR WILLIAM J. HEALY, II
Is William James Healy, II Stark County's "Comeback Kid?"
Until he got derailed on November 3, 2015 in a run for a third term (a first for Democratic mayor, at least in modern times [in a era beginning with Republican Stanley Cmich], Healy the Second had an impressive run in Stark County-based politics.
The Stark County Political Report's take: probably not!
The "Second" is the son of a storied Canton politician of the same but first named William James Healy.
And at least one website says that the First William Healy was a Canton councilman before being elected to the Ohio House in November, 1974 in which he defeated Republican Jim Thorpe who had represented the 50th Ohio House District for eight years.
The SCPR was able to go back to 1992 (as far as the Stark County Board of Elections website records currently go) to get a sense of Healy's father political strength in running for Stark County-based political office:
It had to be a shock to the Healy household when the father was roundly defeated by Republican Richard D. Watkins in 1999 when he had to find another political job inasmuch as he was being "term-limited-out" of the Ohio House after is 1999-2000 terms in the House was over. By the end, he had been in the lower chamber of the Ohio General Assembly for 35 years.
Quite a run, no?
Healy the Second was born in 1962 which means that he was born and bred in a politically saturated environment.
So it only stands to reason that like a political hero of his; namely, William Jefferson Clinton, there is not quit in William J. Healy, II.
Who can forget this scene from the 1992 U.S. presidential election in which Democrat Clinton went on to defeat incumbent Republican George Herbert Walker Bush?
While the SCPR thinks that it is a far-fetched notion that Jamey Healy (as William J. Healy, II is known to his close friends) will surface as a presidential candidate; that he might resurface at the Canton, Stark County or Ohio level is entirely possible.
His sister Joyce Healy-Abrams is entrusted with keeping the Healy name political viable in Stark County, to wit: (Note: Healy-Abrams lost her 2012 bid to unseat Republican Bob Gibbs)
In discussions with Democratic competitor Canton councilman Tom West (Ward 2), the question arises that with William J. Healy, II's November defeat as to whether or not the Healy name is losing it luster in Stark County politics.
If so, West will move on to vie with Republican Dan F. McMasters who tells the SCPR that the Ohio Republican Party prevailed upon him to get into this highly indexed Democrat race.
The seat is currently held by Stephen Slesnick who being term-limited-out is running to replace resigned commissioner Thomas M. Bernabei (the person who defeated William J. Healy, II this past November) as a county commissioner.
So it could be that the Healy-Abrams versus West (ironically, a heavy Healy as mayor supporter) might provide a clue as to whether or not the Healy name is losing its political magic in Canton/Stark County.
So what is William J. Healy, II up to in the wake of his November 3rd defeat and leaving office last Thursday.
Right after the election, a person very close to the Healy campaign told the SCPR that Healy's wife was promoting a move out of Stark County.
But The Report thinks that is unlikely.
For Healy is reported to be saying to confidants that his family legacy is Canton/Stark County politics.
As a temporary measure, he may have to vacate the local political scene just to have a livelihood.
An area media report refers to a Healy "early in the development stages" association with a company (Canton International Corporation [LINK]) that would have him connecting foreign students with U.S. based universities and colleges.
One of the more astonishing achievements of now former Mayor Healy has been his convincing seven of Canton's 12 councilpersons to support him in challenging Thomas Bernbei's successive quest to become certified by the Stark County Board of Elections as an independent candidate for mayor which, of course, resulted in Healy losing the post.
At last Monday's Canton City Council meeting, a number of these councilpersons took the lead as council recognized Healy for his achievements as mayor of the Pro Football Hall of Fame City.
In the final analysis the question that Stark County politicos ought to be pondering whether or not William J. Healy, II will resurface as the county's version of "The Comeback Kid."
The SCPR, a longtime critic of Healy for his consummate "political self-interest" first stances over the years, would not count him out in making a political comeback.