Sunday, December 27, 2009


The SCPR has reason to believe that a power shift is occurring within the Stark County Republican Party.

You might liken the shift to a "friendly corporate takeover."

Under former chairman Curt Braden and current chairman Jeff Matthews (whom some Republicans say are clones of one another) the Stark Republican Party is largely moribund.

In ganging up with the chairmen of the Medina County and Wayne County Republican chairmen, Stark chairman Jeff Matthews has lined up with an old school politician in Jim Renacci of Wadsworth (a former mayor of Wadsworth) in an attempt to deny the youthful and vigorous Matt Miller of Ashland County his shot at becoming congressman for the 16th congressional district; young Republicans are chaffing.

Some  Stark Republicans believe that Miller is the future of Republicanism in the 16th district which includes Stark County.

Matthews incurred the wrath of some Stark Republicans in failing to rally behind former Stark Countian Phil Kiko (now living in the Washington, DC area) of the prominent auctioneer Kiko family of Canton who was interested in taking on Democrat John  Boccieri come November, 2010.

The SCPR believes that Matthews made a serious misstep in joining the "endorse Renacci" move.

Here is a link to a SCPR blog that deals with various Republican candidates including Kiko (CLICK HERE).

The SCPR believes there is a gentlemanly/lady-like "behind the scenes tussle" taking place among Stark Republicans over control of the Stark GOP. The SCPR is told that Young Republicans are the heart and soul of the Stark Republican Party and have made great inroads into the leadership of the Party and that Matthews is on the brink of losing control.

The YRs are sick and tired of losing countywide and municipal elections.  Under Matthews and Braden, the Stark GOP had lost all its seats in Canton (until Mark Butterworth upset Democrat Karl "Butch" Kraus this past November)  and all but one in Massillon.  Only in Alliance are Republicans competitive and that is due to the leadership of the likes of Alan Andreani and Larry Dordea from their perch in the Alliance Republican Club.

A new breed of Republican as evidenced by the likes of Scott Haws (newly elected trustee in Plain Township), Butterworth (newly elected councilman in Canton's 8th Ward), and Jamie Walters (a Jackson trustee who has filed to challenge in the Stark County commissioners race for a seat currently held by Democrat Todd Bosley).

The SCPR believes that Matt Miller might well upset the chairmen's (Medina, Stark & Wayne with Ashland voting "no") endorsed congressional candidate Renacci.  If Miller prevails, there will be apparent unity, but unity will not be the reality.

Once the election is over, look for significant change in the leadership of the Stark Republican Party.   Win or lose, look for Miller et al (the youth movement) to take steps to replace the Matthew types within the Stark GOP with younger leadership.

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