Sunday, February 20, 2011


The SCPR's take on the Republican primary for mayor of Canton is that Leon Gerig (a former Canton councilman and Republican primary mayoralty candidate) is NOT the Republican Party establishment's choice to run against either current Mayor and Democrat William J. Healy, II or his challenger in the Democratic primary Bill Smuckler (a long time city councilman).

In a conversation with former Canton Mayor and Republican Janet Creighton (now Commissioner Creighton) about a week before the filing deadline in early February, Creighton hinted to yours truly that there would be another entry on the Republican side, other than Leon Gerig.

And now we know who that other person is, to wit:  A.R. "Chip" Conde.  He served Creighton as her finance director and chief of staff.

The SCPR reads into Creighton's hint that she was actively involved in persuading Conde to run.  It increasingly appears to The Report that Creighton may be the master planner of the Stark County Republican Party in terms of making the Stark GOP, once again, the predominant party in Stark County.

Conde works for the highly active Republican Stephen Mears (behind the scenes) of StrategyOne, Inc. Mears may be Canton/Stark County's most virulent anti-Healy activist.  Accordingly, if Conde becomes the Republican nominee and Healy survives the Democratic primary, then Cantonians should expect a raucous, "no holds barred" type of general election campaign.

Should Bill Smuckler win the Democratic primary, Conde's approach to campaigning will be much different.

In May the Republicans have a choice to make.  The "establishment" candidate "Chip" Conde or a man who seems much more people oriented:  Leon Gerig.

It is impressive that Gerig has left fulltime employment to devote his full time and attention to securing the Republican nomination.

A Gerig-Healy/Smuckler match up would be much more of a "let the voters choose an approach to solving Canton's problems" type campaign.

In the accompanying video, it is noteworthy to hear Gerig say that Stark GOP Chairman Jeff Matthews told Gerig that Gerig is somebody he can work with.  Reading between the lines of Matthews' comment, it is obvious that Gerig is not Matthews' and the Republican establishment's first choice.

Here is the SCPR's interview (part II) of candidate Gerig.

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