Tuesday, April 3, 2012


The SCPR hears that the Joyce Healy-Abrams campaign is ecstatic about a poll showing that Republican Congressman Bob Gibbs loses to a "generic" Democrat.

Well, Abrams is not a generic Democrat.

Being the brother of Canton Mayor William J. Healy, II makes her anything but generic.

Originally, yours truly did not think that Healy-Abrams, being the political unknown she is in her own right and being new at the game of politics, was a stand-in (i.e. spreading the Healy ID outside Stark County) for her politically ambitious brother who The Report figures to grow restless with being a mere mayor.

However, the poll results suggests a:  "not so quick" with that sort of analysis.

But it was somewhat interesting that she did not do well in her March 6th Jackson precinct race against former state Senate candidate Jan Schwartz (Schuring).

She didn't even vote for herself?

Must have thought better of it with not voting for herself as being a signal of same?

With respect to her congressional race, Healy-Abrams does have the political connections through brother Jamie (as Mayor Healy is called by his close friends) that could make her a threat to unseat Gibbs who currently represents the 18th congressional district.

Because Ohio lost population over the last decade, the Buckeye State loses two congressional seats and the constitutionally required redistricting has really turned freshman Congressman Gibbs' world to be turned topsy-turvey.

With redistricting his home now falls within the redesigned 7th Congressional District which includes most of Stark County and many other areas to the north and west of his current district lines which has to make it pretty much like he is running for the first time.

In 2010, being the Republican year it was (with the GOP gaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives), he did very nicely running against Democrat incumbent Zack Space (who himself, won the 18th in a Democratic high political tide year [2008]), winning by a comfortable margin.

Most political prognosticators expect the Republicans to retain control of the U.S. House, but the control could be cut to razor thin margins and Stark County could be key if a thinning of control materializes.

Much of the rest of Stark County is in the 16th Congressional District which is currently held by Republican Jim Rennaci (Wadsworth, Summit County).  He has the fight of his political life on his hands because he must square off against Democrat Congresswoman Betty Sutton (Copley, Summit County) with redistricting having both of them with residences within the 16th.

Renacci like Gibbs benefited in 2010 to a banner Republican year in defeating freshman Democratic Congressman John Boccieri.

If Renacci loses to Sutton and Gibbs loses to Abrams-Healy, then undoubtedly such is would be a harbinger of a much tighter R/D mix in Congress.

Even in the very good year for Republicans, Renacci barely won Stark County over Boccieri.

So its seems that Healy-Abrams has an opportunity to build up a margin in Stark that could carry her to a squeaker of a win across the new district.

Gibbs should have the advantage in counties which were part of the 18th, to wit:  Holmes, Knox, Coshocton and part of Tuscarawas.

The battleground likely will be in Ashland and 7th District parts of Richland, Medina, Huron and Lorain counties.

The Report hears that the Healy-Abrams campaign has lined up Boccieri along with Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan (now the 17th; to be the 13th which takes in the Alliance area of Stark County) to provide her with a "big-hitter" assist to take the 7th.

As can be seen from Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports (through February, 2012), an advantage for Healy-Abrams is going to be union financial and "feet on the ground" support.

As of February, she had collected less than $30,000 including individual contributions.

Congressman Gibbs, on the other hand, has a political war chest approaching $500,000.

The next FEC campaign finance report should be an indicator of whether or not Healy-Abrams is going to be able to raise enough money to make her challenge of Gibbs a race she can win.

"Money is the mother's milk of politics" if a candidate is to get a message out and achieve voter ID.

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