UPDATE: NIST RESPONSE TO SCPR INQUIRY 8:14 AM
STARK CO. REPUBLICAN & CANDIDATE
FOR FAMILY COURT JUDGE
FOR FAMILY COURT JUDGE
HAVE A SIMILAR PROBLEM?
Circling of Nist addedStark County Republican candidates for local office are trying to figure out whether or not it is beneficial to be seen in public with GOP presidential candidate Donald J. Trump.
The SCPR was somewhat surprised to see a goodly number of Stark County-based candidates lining up on the dais behind Trump when he appeared at the Canton Memorial Civic Center in Canton on September 14th.
Of course that was before the Access Hollywood tape showing Trump being over-the-top disrespectful to women surfaced.
Political cognoscenti types are not quite sure of what the Trump effect will be down ticket.
As the SCPR sees it, there are only two Stark County races in which the Trump effect. positive or negative, might be a significant factor as to who wins next Tuesday.
First: Republican Jeff Jakmides versus Democratic third term Democratic incumbent John Ferrero.
Jakmides has embraced Trump's "build the wall" mantra as benefiting Stark County law enforcement's war on heroin overdose effort.
If, as one local Democratic elected official as observed to the SCPR as likely to happen, Trump wins Stark County, might such be enough for Jakmides to defeat Ferrero?
The battle for Jakmides is to make—he many of Trump's voters likely to be working class Democrats who are all out for Trump—all out for a down ticket Republican while retaining Republican registered voters who show up to the polls next Tuesday.
Second: Republican David Nist versus Democratic challenger Jason Reese for Family Court judge.
Today, the SCPR was perusing the Akron Beacon Journal (ABJ; online) and happened on an interesting story that may have ramification for the Nist/Reese face off. (LINK)
In the Summit County instance, Republican Katrina Cook (interesting enough, a candidate for Summit County Family Court judge), according to the ABJ, is "shown in photographs standing behind Trump holding a “Make America Great Again” sign and wearing a “Judge Cook” sticker."
At issue is whether or not Cook's activity is a violation of Ohio's Code of Judicial Conduct rule prohibiting judges (Nist is a sitting Stark County Family Court magistrate) and judicial candidates from weighing in on the candidacy of another running for public office.
Summit County's "organized" Democrats put the party's request for an advisory opinion from the Ohio Supreme Court Disciplinary Counsel this way:
“While I understand that judges and judicial candidates are allowed to attend political events in a neutral capacity, we are seeking clarity as to when conduct arises to the level of ‘public endorsement,’” attorney Tom Bevan, the Summit County Democratic Party’s second vice chair, wrote in a one-page request to the board. “These are issues that concern many of our judges and judicial candidates and guidance … [and] will be helpful in avoiding any problems going forward.”While significantly toned down from the Cook activity, is does appear to the SCPR that Nist's presence on September 24th Canton rally behind candidate Trump is tantamount to a Trump endorsement.
General election judicial candidates do not run under partisan labels in Ohio.
So it is hard to tell how the Trump factor will play out in Reese v. Nist.
But it could be that Cook's activity at the Akron Trump rally might make it a no-no for future judges/judicial candidates to be attending 2020 presidential events.
The SCPR did send Nist this e-mail:
Martin Olson <firstname.lastname@example.org> Today at 4:49 PM
To: Dave Nist
In light of today's Akron Beacon Journal article (LINK) on an Akron judge attending a Donald
Trump rally, I am writing to ask whether you attended the Canton Trump rally as a Trump supporter or as a neutral party.
The appearance of course is that you were there as a Trump supporter.
But I am prepared to hear you out that you were present as a neutral party.
Stark County Political Report
Candidate Nist's response:
Dave Nist <email@example.com> Today at 6:05 AM
To: Martin Olson
As I am sure you are aware Rule 4.1 of the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct controls with regard to the political and campaign activities of judges and judicial candidates. Rule 4.1(A) states in relevant part that a judge or judicial candidate shall not do any of the following: (3) Publicly endorse or oppose a candidate for another public office. That same rule later provides in section (B) that a judge or judicial candidate may do any of the following, subject to limitations set forth in the canon; (1) Attend or speak to a political gathering.
I have always acted in accordance with this rule especially with regard to any political gathering I have attended as well as when I responded to your request to have me comment on past statements made by Donald Trump.