Thursday, November 19, 2009


Go to the bank with it.

Steve Meeks, former Jackson Township trustee and currently Region 9 Director for the Governor Ted Strickland administration (Economic Development), will become recently announced resignee Commissioner Tom Harmon's replacement.

The SCPR spoke with Meeks minutes ago and he has confirmed with The Report that he will be submitting a letter to the Stark County Democratic Party (Randy Gonzalez, chair) to be considered for appointment as Harmon's successor.

Chairman Gonzalez will be convening an assembly of the Stark County Central Committee members who will vote on various candidates that have submitted letters of candidacy on December 15, 2009.

The SCPR has spoken with Trustee and second-in-command at the Stark County Court of Common Pleas clerk of courts Louis Giavasis (Plain) and  Trustee Michael Stevens (Lawrence) who are considering submitting letters.

However, the SCPR believes that it is unlikely that either will submit letters.


Because they both understand two things.

First, Steve Meeks has talked with the governor and his chief-of-staff John Haseley for their feedback on what Meeks tells the SCPR has been his long term desire to serve as Stark County commissioner.

While Strickland and Haseley expressed sorrow at Northeast Ohio's (and the Strickland's administration)  loss if  the commissionership materializes.  Moroveover, they gave their blessing to his effort.

Pretty powerful support, no?

Second, Steve Meeks is a long term political ally of Stark County Democratic Party chairman Randy Gonzalez.  Gonzalez, as Jackson fiscal officer and former trustee himself, served along side of Meeks while Meeks was trustee in Jackson.

The SCPR is told that Gonzalez was very upset when Michael Stevens ran against Republican Jane Vignos four years ago.  Gonzalez (not party chairman at the time) was pushing hard for Meeks to be the candidate.

Both Stevens and Giavasis are politically astute enough to understand that a candidacy for the Harmon vacancy is not "really" an open process.  They understand that former Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. hand picked most of the members of the Democratic Central Committee and that his loyalists vote as Maier recommends to them.

You can bet that Gonzalez and Maier will be working the phones for Meeks.
Neither Giavasis nor Stevens are gluttons for punishment.   The aforementioned political realities will likely keep them for submitting letters to be considered.

Mike Stevens, for one, is looking at making the Democratic primary on May 4th to be a contested one.  He says he has been getting calls encouraging him to run.  Look for other Democrats to climb into this race.

One of them will not be Councilwoman Mary Cirelli.  She tells the SCPR that she's been there and done that and, moreover, she has a political adviser who has persuasively made the case to her that she should not run.

You can look for the same on the Republican side in terms of candidates lining up to run for the Harmon seat.

Next year will be exciting times for statewide races and countywide races in Stark County!

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