Wednesday, March 7, 2012


UPDATED:  03/07/2012 AT 11:00 AM

The Stark County Political Report has long maintained that there is no more accomplished politician in the county than William J. Healy, II.

And last night he took a huge step towards realizing what appears to the SCPR is his longer term quest to achieve control of the Stark County Democratic Party in defeating the party establishment candidate for  29th District State Central Committeeman.

In defeating Slesnick, Healy showed that he can attract Stark Dem votes across Stark County better than a person (i.e. Slesnick) who holds office over a broader area than just the city of Canton.

In fact, Healy reached into Jackson Township and Massillon where Slesnick supporter Jackson Fiscal Officer Gonzalez and Massillon Clerk of Courts Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. were unable to deliver enough of the vote for their candidate to stave off the Healy challenge.

More than making a loser out of state Rep. Stephen Slesnick, The Report believes Healy severely damaged the Stark County political standing and credibility of Chairman Randy Gonzalez and former Chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. with the incoming class of precinct committee persons elected yesterday.

Why does Healy seem bent on taking over the organized Stark Dems, anyway?

Answer:  He is not content with "merely" being mayor of Canton.  He has bigger political fish to fry.  And to be in a position to convince the Ohio Democratic bigs in Columbus that he should be considered for higher statewide office, he must show his political might and muscle in his home area.

A story surfaced yesterday as related by a SCPR source regarding Healy has the mayor describing himself in a "heroic" role at a Ohio Municipal League of Cities event at which Republican Governor John Kasich made an appearance.

As Healy told it to locals, he got up and challenged the governor on his local government fund cuts to date which have severely hurt most Stark County local government.

The governor response, according Healy, the source says:

"You haven't seen nothing yet, you might be looking at a complete dry up of local government funding come the next Ohio fiscal year [2014 - 2015]."

While defeating Slesnick in and of itself is not nearly enough catapult the mayor into big time Democratic politics, it certainly raises his value to Ohio Democratic Party Chair Chris Redfern in his drive to remain as chairman.

Redfern recruited Healy to run because the likes of Gonzalez, Maier and other Democrat across Ohio are questioning the quality of Redfern's leadership given the Democratic loses of all statewide offices in the bloodbath elections of November, 2010.

A demand has been made that Redfern step down as chairman and a showdown on the matter will be taking place within the next several weeks now that a newly elected state central committee is set to take office.

Healy could be in a position to help Redfern save his job.

Whether or not Redfern retains the chairmanship, Healy for his own personal political ambition needs to increase his political base in Stark, if he is to develop the resources in terms of manpower, material and money to move to the next political level.

In order to complete his conquest in Stark, Healy will have to work hard to elect precinct committeepersons favorable to him and/or convert current Gonzalez/Maier supporters to come over to his side.

A key post-election analysis will be on the make up of the new class of precinct committee persons as both Healy and the Gonzalez/Maier forces appeared to have locked horns in a number of contested races in precincts across Stark County.

Moreover, each side undoubtedly recruited loyalists to run in uncontested areas of the county.

But there still will be a block of those elected that will be fair game to side with Healy or Gonzalez/Maier as issues requiring votes of the central committee come up over the next two years.

It is widely believed that Canton Treasurer Robert Schirack will be retiring soon and a battle could be on the horizon as to who replaces him.

Think that city of Canton Mayor William J. Healy, II doesn't have a great deal of interest as to who that might be and just might want to dictate who it will be?

Having his man/woman in place in Canton City Hall at the treasurer's office would probably be a very good thing for the consummately politically ambitious William J. Healy, II!

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