Monday, February 23, 2009


Democrat Alliance City Councilman Steve Okey (also a trial attorney) cannot seem to get his "political timing" in order.

When it became known that then Congressman Ralph Regula was contemplating retirement, Steve Okey's name surfaced in Stark County Democratic circles as a person who was interested in making the run.

In fact, Steve's interest predated the 2006 race, but apparently the prospects of success were not strong enough.

Most recently, Okey tried to get the appointment to succeed John Boccieri (elected 16th Congressional District congressman in November) as state senator from Ohio's 33rd District. Even though Okey served as Boccieri campaign treasurer and raised tons of money for Boccieri, it didn't seem to help him secure the senatorship. In fact, it appeared that he never had a real chance. Senate minority leader Capri Cafaro was hearing "none of that" in terms of someone from Stark County getting the post notwithstanding Okey's support of the Stark County Democratic Party and its chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr (a close political friend of Governor Ted Strickland).

It's hard to gauge his clout in Alliance politics. The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) suspects that his clout is suspect.

Why is his clout suspect?

Because Alliance's Republicans have fielded three strong candidates to run for council-at-large and Okey might be a victim given his somewhat controversial record in stirring things up in Alliance government and politics.

It appears that Alliance Republicans have awakened from their slumber of 2007 when Democrats wrestled control of city council from the GOP.

Alan Adreani a former superintendent of Marlington schools has been on council since 2006 and was the biggest vote getter in 2007.

Sarah Brown is the wife of Judge Charles Brown (Stark County Court of Common Pleas) and a former city council person, a former Alliance City Schools school board member, a member of the Ohio Ethics Commission and a Republican state committee woman. Moreover, she tied her herself to defeated vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in Palin appearances in Stark County. Perhaps, Sarah Brown will provide another Stark County forum opportunity (presidential campaign 2012) by bringing Palin into Stark to campaign for her?

Larry Dordea is a highly popular former police chief of Alliance who ran a strong campaign against Tim Swanson in 2008 in a losing effort. Though Dordea is running for city council, the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) has learned that he expects to be running for sheriff again in 2012.

The Report would not be surprised to see Alliance Republicans sweep the council-at-large races. Alliance seems to be the one place that the Stark County Republican Party has some life. The Report believes that this is the case because the last effective county Republican Party chairman was Charles Brown who is from Alliance.

Returning to Okey. It could be that Okey will regret turning down Canton Mayor Wiliam J. Healy, II to be named service director (as Healy's first choice) to succeed the fired Thomas Bernabei (as The Report has learned to be the case).

But Okey's refusal did help former Alliance City Council member and mayoralty candidate (2007) Warren Price get the service director post. Price applied for the job when Healy was filling out his cabinet posts in early 2008. At that time Price was 9th on the list of potential appointees.

The moral of the Price story for Okey?

Keep hanging around the political hustings.

You just never know when lighting will strike?

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