UPDATED: 08:35 AM
It was a surprise and then again it really wasn't a surprise when well-know Stark County criminal defense attorney Jeff Jakmides decided after the filing deadline for political party selection as a candidate for office in the November general election (i.e. the primary election) to file as a write-in candidate. (LINK)
In November, 2004 Jakmides fought Ferrero in a bitterly contested campaign in which some speculated that he was put up to the 2004 race by Jackson Township businessman Ben Suarez who, unrelated to the 2004 situation, has had his difficulties with the law of late. (LINK)
As The Report recalls, Suarez was unhappy with Ferrero because he felt that Ferrero was not pursuing appropriate legal measures in his capacity of being prosecutor in relation to a business transaction that Suarez was involved with with respect to an out-of-Ohio party.
Just days before the 2004 election, Suarez filed a lawsuit against Ferrero. (LINK)
A Ferrero political flyer apparently prompted Suarez with local attorney Craig T. Conley as legal counsel to file the complain, to wit:
As The Report recalls, Jeff Jakmides seemingly went wall-to-wall with giant billboards across Stark County.
About six months later the suit was dropped, to wit:
One might surmise that Jakmides has been looking for a rematch eversince.
And it will be interesting to see whether or not Suarez attorney Craig Conley surfaces in support of Jakmides.
Conley has been both a vexation to Ferrero (re: Ferrero's handling of recovering funds stolen from the Stark County treasury by then Stark County treasury chief deputy Vince Frustaci) and in praise of Ferrero for his standing with former Sheriff Tim Swanson as they fought George T. Maier becoming Stark County sheriff as being unqualified under Ohio law at the time when November, 2012 sheriff-elect Mike McDonald could not take office in January, 2013 because of an illness which claimed his life in February of that year.
Conley is a Republican as is, of course, Jakmides.
In late February or early March I happened upon Jakmides as I was on my way to cover the weekly Stark County commissioners meeting.
In the ensuing conversation, Jakmides laid out allegations that Prosecutor Ferrero was costing Stark County taxpayers money in the way his office was handling the bringing of criminal charges.
I said "Okay, Jeff send me some written material. I"ll take a look at it."
He did and it was a doozy.
Of course readers of the SCPR know that I am committed to presenting all sides of a story in excruciating detail no matter where I ultimately land in my take of the issue(s).
So I contacted John Ferrero and provided him with a copy of the Jakmides press release and invited him to respond.
To repeat. It was a doozy, too!
One only need to turn to the candidates' respective Facebook campaign websites to see the animosity that appears to permeate the relationship:
In this series which will run from today through general election in November, the SCPR will provide exhaustive coverage of this all important countywide race inasmuch as it concerns a matter which is likely the top priority of Stark Countians: the quality of law enforcement in Stark County.
The SCPR in this blog publishs the entire Jakmides press release and the complete Ferrero response as the basic blog to which I will link up as I write new volumes on this all important race.
I implore readers who care anything at all about the quality of law enforcement in Stark County to read each statement attentively.
THE JAKMIDES PRESS RELEASE
The Ferrero/Jakmides match up promises to be the headliner insofar as Stark countywide races go this year.
It is likely that leading Stark County "organized" Democrats like former chairmen Randy Gonzalez and Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. think Ferrero (a former chairman himself) committed an political "unpardonable sin" in opposing Maier, Jr. brother George T. Maier for sheriff.
However, the Stark County Democratic Party is bleeding losses of countywide offices to the point that it may be that Gonzalez, the Maier brothers and like thinking Democrats will have to swallow their pride and come out full guns for Ferrero.
For if the Dems lose the prosecutor's office, it will mean that three of the most significant offices (auditor, treasury and prosecutorial) in the Stark County government scheme of government will be in the hands of Republican leaders.
And that is not all.
The SCPR figures Bill Smith is a likely victor in his contest with state Representative Stephen Slesnick and incumbent Richard Regula over Canton councilman John Mariol which will—if this scenario unfolds—will place the commissioners' office 100% with Republican leadership.
Quite a change from pre-2010 (auditor/treasury turned from Democrat to Republican in 2010 likely due to the crisis in the county treasurer's office) during which all non-judicial countywide office were held by Democrats.
From the insults that have already been traded between the two and the Dems/GOP control of local government warfare, it could be a Stark County version of what appears on March 28,2016 to be, in terms of vitriol, a Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton clone election, no?
Stay tuned to The Stark County Political Report!