Tuesday, February 6, 2018


UPDATE: Tuesday, February 6, 2018

With one day to go before the filing deadline, some interesting filings took place today (February 6, 2018) at the Stark County Board of Elections.

By Contest:

50th Ohio House District

Josh Hagan (Republican, Marlboro) brother of current 50 Ohio House District representative Christina Hagan, who is abandoning the seat to run for the 16th Congressional District. About a week ago Christina made a "sudden move" into the 16th likely because of a national blog site criticism of her not living in the district she was running for.

Jacob Urick (Republican, Louisville)

49th Ohio House District

Thomas West (Democrat), incumbent and former Ward 2 Canton councilman.

James Haavisto (Republican) who is the owner JD's Gourmet Hot Dogs located on Navarre Road, Canton.  His daughter works for Christina Hagan as an aide.

48th Ohio House District

Lorraine Wilburn (Democrat), North Canton.

29th Ohio Senate District

Lauren Friedman (Democrat), North Canton.

Stark County Offices
(but not judicial and political party committee filings)


Janet Creighton (Republican, Canton) incumbent commissioner, former mayor of Canton, former Stark County auditor and former Stark County recorder.


Linda Litman (Democrat), sitting Massillon councilperson representing Massillon's 6th ward.


Races covered:  governor, U.S. Senate, 7th/16th U.S. House, 48th, 49th & 50th Ohio House, 29th Ohio Senate



As we all knew would eventually happen, the Republican and Democratic fields for governor have narrowed considerably.

The Republican side is virtually locked up by the DeWine/Husted (a former DeWine competitor).  Only Mary Taylor remains of possibly viable candidates.  The SCPR thinks it doesn't mean much in terms of significance but state Rep. Christina Hagan (a candidate for the Republican nomination to the 16th congressional district) has endorsed Taylor.

Here is the results of a poll of the Republican side taken by a group known as 1984 Society (see Cleveland.com article for background on 1984 Society, a little over 800 voters sampled)

Even though there is a sizeable percentage of voters in the "undecided" camp, unless DeWine/Husted commit a huge political blunder (which is extremely difficult to do in these days of "the coarsening of political engagement" at the hand of President Trump), it appears the Republican gubernatorial nomination is in the category of being "theirs to lose."

DeWine/Husted Stark County chair and Stark County treasurer Alex Zumbar, though tempered because a little more than four (4) months remain until Ohio/Stark County Republicans vote on who the governor candidate will be, was greatly pleased to hear about the 40 percentage lead in the 1984 Society poll results.

Zumbar said that while the polling lead is comforting, he knows that the strong effort by the DeWine/Husted campaign needs to continue and vowed to make Stark County a part of a "not letting our guard down" going forward effort.

Stark County Commissioner Janet Creighton is a northeast Ohio regional chair for the DeWine campaign.

Her reaction to the poll numbers:

Janet Creighton ... Jan 26 at 4:54 PM
To:  Martin Olson

... Happy with poll numbers.  Campaign will continue to work hard and not take anything for granted.  Now that Husted team has joined us, there is strength in numbers.  

Happy Hawaii!


For unaware readers, The Report is in Hawaii (since January 14th) and likely will remain until at least March 14th.



Republican Jim Renacci "doomed to failure" gubernatorial campaign promoted him to jump to the Republican U.S. Senate race with the withdrawal of frontrunner Josh Mandel.

Mandel had been contesting with Republican Republican Mike Gibbons.

Already the Renacci/Gibbons race is getting testy with a revelation in a Cleveland.com piece that the Renacci camp is making allegations of information theft from its campaign from a former Renacci volunteer governor campaign staffer who has switched over to the Gibbons campaign.
primary (May 8, 2018) against Cleveland area.

The Gibbons campaign has announced a 46 appointment of co-captains for Mike's campaign, to wit:

The SCPR has made repeated efforts to contact Ms. Sommerville for a Stark County perspective on the Gibbons effort.

So far, no response.

The campaigns sends out a press release and the named co-captain for Stark County is inaccessible?

Might be an indication that the Gibbons campaign is going nowhere at least in Stark County?


Former Consumer Finance Protection Bureau chief (2012 - 2017) Richard Cordray has to be pleased by the Democratic side of the governor's race 1984 Society poll:

In contrast to Zumbar, getting Canton City Council president Allen Schulman to talk about his preferred candidate for governor, is "like pulling teeth."

The SCPR has made several inquiries of leading "organized" Stark County Democratic officials about a man they all had to know would eventually surface to the top of the Democratic side of the gubernatorial questing slate, but none of them have been willing to respond.

Kind of strange for one of Cordray's key supporters to take that tack when the candidate himself is behind in the same poll done on the presumption of a DeWine/Cordray match up.  (see the poll referred to under "The November Election" subheading below)

Disappointing to the SCPR is the percentage of the Democratic vote garnered by Joe Schiavoni.  To The Report the likes of a Joe Schiavoni should be the focus of Democrats over the well-traveled Cordray.

Mention needs to be made of the having withdrawn Dayton mayor Nan Whaley, who, in doing so, endorsed Richard Cordray.

One has to wonder where Whaley's withdrawal leaves Stark County clerk of courts Louis Giavasis and Jackson fiscal officer Randy Gonzalez inasmuch as both endorsed Whaley several months ago.

In a December blog, the SCPR had a little fun with Giavasis and Gonzalez in their having endorsed Whaley on September 17, 2017.  A date way in advance of what a cautious typical politician does unless of course the endorsed candidate is pretty much a sure thing as per former Stark County Dems' chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. do in endorsing Ted Strickland for governor in 2006.

Political retread Dennis Kucinich who Canton councilman Bill Smuckler has historical ties to announced this past week he is in the race and picking yesterday, Friday, January 19, Akron councilwoman Tara Samples to be his running mate.

Also in the race on the Democratic side is Ohio Supreme Court justice William O'Neill who is being challenged on his right to remain on the Supreme Court while running for governor.

The only viable Democrat remaining on the Democratic side is Youngstown area state Senator Joe Schiavoni.

Yes, Cincinnati area Democrat Connie Pillich remains and a couple of days ago she picked a running mate but the SCPR thinks she along with O'Neill are non-factors on the Democratic side.  On February 6, 2018 "Emily's List" announced that Pillich had its endorsement for governor.

Schiavoni, too, has picked a running mate in state board of education member Stephanie Dodd.


If DeWine Stark County chair Alex Zumbar thinks his candidate still has work to do to secure the Republican nomination, magnify that for Cordray supporters come the general election.

Had Renacci remained in the race and became the Republican nominee (not likely, but possible), the Dems could have attacked him on being all-out for Donald J. Trump.

However, it appears to the SCPR that DeWine has positioned himself to not be very vulnerable to such a campaign approach.

Name recognition will not be a factor in a DeWine/Cordray face off.

Both have held quite a few offices in Ohio governance.



Its is too bad that Democrat Ken Harbaugh is running in the 7th congressional district rather than in the 16th.

Even with Republican incumbent joined at the hip with the growingly unpopular President Donald Trump,  Harbaugh is unlikely to be able to overcome the huge Trump plurality (2016) in the 7th to unseat Gibbs.

In the 16th, though still gerrymandered to advantage any Republican running, a being in the same political party as Trump factor could be a winner for a "viable" Democratic candidate because of "suburban independent and Republican women" abandoning the GOP in order to send a message to the Republicans and Trump.

Right now the Democrats do not have a "viable" candidate.  Unless one surfaces, the 16th will not be a pick up for the Democrats nationally in their quest to turn the U.S. House of Representatives Democratic on January 1, 2019.

Impressively, Harbaugh has out-fundraised incumbent Gibbs and has spent money on gaining voter recognition that might make him competitive in November.


Will Republican Christina Hagan (who does live in the 16th but rather in the 7th)  before—through the end of December, 2017—campaign finance reports (CPR) become public on or about February 15, 2018 withdraw from running to replace Renacci and file instead to run for a fourth term as 50th Ohio House District representative?

In a move that is an obvious sign she plans to stay in the 16th U.S.House Race, according to a Stark BOE report Hagan has "apparently" moved into the 16th.

The Report has confirmed with the Stark County Board of Elections that Hagan has changed her voter registration from: (as listed on January 20, 2018)


Hagan must be figuring that an "outside-the-16th-address" (Beeson Street) will be a telling negative in a 16th District fight with fellow Republican Anthony Gonzalez.

Stay tuned for more information on the purported change in Hagan's address.

Hagan couldn't even muster the support of fellow Republican Bob Gibbs who represents the 7th.  Gibbs was a "headliner" guest on November 29th at Brookside Country Club in Canton, Ohio.

If she withdraws from the 16th primary contest, she likely will have some other justification than she has been taken out by a gigantic campaign finance tidal wave support for "surprise" mainstream Republican candidate Anthony Gonzalez.

Gonzalez surfaced well after Hagan tried to preempt the field, having announced her candidacy in March, 2017.

It appears to the SCPR that Hagan's hasty decision to run for the 16th was ill-advised and she likely is on her way to becoming a civilian after the primary filing date of February 7, 2018.

Hagan's Stark County political future could be "hanging in the balance" in either event.  She has been telling local Republicans that she thinks the Hagan clan is on a "political" roll and is on the cusp becoming a dynastic political operation in Stark County Republican politics.

When she announced last March, she said to prominent Stark County Republicans that she would raise $15/16 million for the primary and another $1.5 million for the general election in what "before Trump" seemed to be a safe Republican congressional seat.

She can forget all that fundraising for the 16th.  The only question now is whether she so treasurers holding public office that she will go back to running in Ohio's 50th House District.


Paris Township trustee Reggie Stoltzfus says he is "all in" to be the Republican nominee for the 50th District no matter what Hagan decides to do.

Facing likely Republican candidate Stoltzfus in November might be a "new" Democratic politician Cassie Gabelt. Gabelt is in her late 20s.  One has the tag her as been a distinct underdog in the 50th, but in this day and age who knows?

Gabelt has an impressive background in having served in the U.S. Navy.

Hold on a minute on Gabelt!

Probably yesterday 2016 50th District Ohio House candidate Debbie Cain (now a member of the Lake Local School District Board of Education and in her mid to late 60s) took out petitions to run another time for this 50th.  Cain seems to banking on Christina Hagan going ahead with a 16th District run for in 2014 she got waxed by Hagan.

Hold on a minute on Gabelt and Cain!!

Out-of-Nowhere last week,  Courtlen Vizzuso of Alliance filed to run for the Democratic nomination in Stark County's 50th Ohio House District, to wit:

A brief biography on Vizzuso:

For Gabelt or Cain for Vizzuso to win in the 50th, either will have to rely on a political backlash on President Trump filtering down to state legislative races across the nation.

In recent Virginia statehouse elections, many political analyst thinks that did happen in that Democrats came very close to capturing control of of the Virginia legislature despite having been a decided majority before the election.


Will Republican Jackson Township trustee Jamie Walters persist in challenging Scott Oelslager as successor to term-limited out Republican Kirk Schuring in Ohio's 48th Ohio House District?

You have to believe that the "powers that be" in the Stark County Republican Party are working feverishly trying to get Walters out of the race.

The SCRP is highly skeptical that Walters can "retire" Oelslager in his quest to once again in tandem with fellow Republican Kirk Schuring are endeavoring to trade the 48th for the 29th (Ohio Senate District) as they have done twice before in defiance of Ohio's term limits which both supported when it was passed by a Republican majority Ohio General Assembly (OGA)  in 1992 as a way to wrest control from Vern Riffe era majority Democrats (which included Massillonian Johnnie A. Maier, Jr [now Massillon clerk of courts].

Oelslager lives in North Canton Ward 4 which is in the 48th.

Could Walters be trying to set up a Jackson/North Canton contest?


First term 49th Ohio House District state Rep. Thomas West (a Democrat) will face challenge in his quest to remain in the Ohio House.

Republican and hot dog stand owner (JD's Gourmet HOT DOGS) James Haavisto (whose daughter, by the way, works for Christina Hagan in the Ohio House) says he plans an aggressive campaign against West.

Haavisto appears to be a quality candidate in that he is not off in the right wing fringes of the party.

The 49th has been gerrymandered by the Republican controlling the Statehouse to be Democratic under most circumstances.

And 2018 is not a good year for a Republican to be running in the 49th.

West is a vast improvement in the 49th over former (term-limited-out) state Rep. Stephen Slesnick.

All Slesnick seemingly could do was the ceremonial functions of being a state representatives.

West has joined with Republican Kirk Schuring to sponsor House Bill 462 in order to give Massillon more time to recover from the announced closing (February 4th) of Affinity Medical Center which could cost Massillon dearly in income tax revenue a new buyer cannot be found.


Schuring is on his third attempt to defeat the intent of the voters when in 1992 Ohioans approved term limits of eight (8) consecutive years on the House/Senate.  Schuring and Scott Oelslager are in sync that their respective eight years end at the same time.  So they merely switch (both live in the 48th House District/29th Senate District) chambers.

Both by the way support term limits.

Just another case of political hypocrisy, which, of course, does not seem to cost the hypocrites politically.

No comments: