Sunday, August 29, 2010


Its a close call. Who is the most boring candidate in all of Stark County? Richard Reinbold (Democrat - running [yawn] against Republican "musical chairs" Scott Oelslager for Stark County 29th Ohio Senate district) or Bill Smuckler?

The Repository says, today, that Smuckler is to make a formal announcement (Facebook and Twitter, a "formal" announcement?) that he is running for mayor of Canton.

Of course, anybody who knows anything about Canton politics knows that today's heads-up announcement has been known about for months.

To gin up excitement, it appears that Smuckler is trying to give the impression that he is a "with-it" guy who uncharacteristically, for a man of his age, is into Facebook and Twitter and in that way do a "novel" - not anymore - and "exciting" formal announcement.


Well, that will probably be about as exciting as Bill Smuckler gets.

A fresh face in Democratic politics would beat William J. Healy, II hands down.  But Smuckler?  It could be Healy is about to "even the score" with Smuckler, having lost the 2003 Democratic primary by 139 votes to "the power behind the throne" of Canton City Council.

The key to who wins the 2003 rematch is how "in political reality" the 8 Ward councilmen (Ward 8 is represented by Republican Mark Butterworth) and two (other than Smuckler himself, obviously) council-at-large persons line up.

Here is how the Wards broke down in the 2003 election.

Healy won only in Wards 1, 3 and 6 and ran rather poorly in in Wards 8 and 9.  Actually, Healy "lost" the election in Wards 8 and 9.

Readers are reminded that there were three other candidates in the 2003 race.  And it is these votes, 2,231 of them where the battleground of the 2011 primary election will be fought.

Look for both Healy and Smuckler to lean on the councilpersons and other key "organized" Stark County Democratic Party players for support.

Healy, of course, can count on Ward 2 (Thomas West) and Ward Four (Chris Smith).  Smuckler can count on Council President Allen Schulman, Ward 1 (Greg Hawk), Ward 6 (David Dougherty) and Councilwoman-at-Large Mary Cirelli (who Healy defeated in her bid to be re-elected state representative in the 52nd District in 2004).

The SCPR believes that Canton's Democratic voters will be in a "choose your poison" mode come May, 2011.

Despite all his promises when he ran against and defeated Republican Janet Creighton in 2007, Healy has not delivered for Cantonians.  Unless, that is, one defines delivering as being controversy and its concomitant negative effect on the smooth and beneficial flow of government.

While Smuckler has remained what he as always been, a bland politician.  He has generated nothing new and invigorating as the future of Canton.

He and his sidekick Sam Sliman (the self-described "Darth Vader to the Townships") have basically pushed hard for annexation as a way for Canton to get its way out of the economic cesspool.

Smuckler is trying to put on the look of a "new look" with the Facebook and Twitter stuff, but the reality is that he had nothing new to offer Canton.

Yes, Smuckler has been Stark County's leading proponent of regionalization for a long time.  Regionalization is a partial answer to cutting the cost of government.  But it is not economic development which is what Canton sorely needs.

The 2011 Democratic primary will not be a happy election for Cantonians unless a new, fresh face interlopes to give Cantonians a real choice.

As was said above, Smuckler and Healy are both unattractive candidates.  Healy has more personality than Smuckler, but the "its all about me" stuff is a downer for Cantonians.

The Report believes that the Stark County Republican Party will pretty much ignore the Canton mayoralty contest.  The GOP is working hard to capitalize on winning county offices in 2012 on the heels of what local attorney and civic activist Craig Conley has dubbed "Zeiglergate."

So whatever comes out of the May, 2011 Democratic primary is likely to be "all she wrote" for Canton's voters come November, 2011.

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