Wednesday, November 28, 2012


The SCPR has already written (LINK) about reasons why former Alliance Chief of Police Larry Dordea lost to Chief Deputy Sheriff Mike McDonald in their November 6th race.

But it still was somewhat startling to see the detailed numbers (published yesterday by the Stark County Board of Elections) which document the outcome of the race.  Especially in light of the fact that Dordea has run countywide before, losing in a very respectable showing to Sheriff Tim Swanson in 2008.

Yesterday's numbers show that McDonald actually picked up 1,249 votes of some 4,285 provisional ballots that are reflected in yesterday's count.  Originally, it was said by BOE officials that some 5,900 provisional remained to be counted and so there appeared to be a slim hope that Dordea (behind by 5,730 in the unofficial count) might astound everybody and get a vast majority of the provisions.

Well, as it turns out, such was not a possibility inasmuch as only 4,285 provisionals qualified for the sheriff race recount.

Three things stand out to The Report about the McDonald victory.

First, the inability of Dordea to pile up a large plurality over McDonald in Alliance.

Only a 298 vote margin for a man who was police chief in Alliance for about eight years and who is in his second term as councilman-at-large?

All one had to do on election night was to look at the Alliance differential to know that Dordea was not going to win countywide.

Second, and by contrast, how McDonald did in his home area:  the Louisville/Nimishillen Township area.

The way to make the hugely significant point of McDonald's home turf margin of victory is to compare it to the Smuckler/Regula race numbers for county commissioner (the only other Stark County race other than the presidential race that was competitive).

Regula out-polled fellow Republican Dordea by 400 votes in Louisville and 601 in Nimishillen Township and looking at the Regula numbers the turnaround results are astounding:  a Regula victory in the face of a Dordea loss in both communities to the tune of a 2,235 vote turnaround.

Thirdly, looking at Dordea's numbers in the Republican strongholds of Jackson and Lake Townships, while strong for Dordea, pale in comparison in what Democrat McDonald was able to do in vote margin victories in the staunchly Democratic cities of Canton and Massillon.

And McDonald won in the Republican/Democratic battleground area of Stark County (Plain Township) by 570 votes.

To win, Dordea had approximate (i.e. come closer) to how former Stark County commissioner Richard Regula ran in his former Canton City Councilman Bill Smuckler.

Or perhaps matching up better with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's?

Mike McDonald actually out-polled Stark County presidential winner Barack Obama by upwards of 3 percentage points.  Impressive, no?

In recent decades, Democrats have dominated control of the Stark County sheriff's department.  Only in 1981 - 1984 (Robert Berens) have the Republicans had a smell at running Stark County's top law enforcement agency.

With this loss, it could be decades more that the Republicans will be shut off from putting their law enforcement philosophies to work out on Atlantic Boulevard!

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