Monday, February 10, 2014


CORRECTION & UPDATE:  (02/12/2014) 09:00 AM

Yesterday the SCPR had occasion to discuss this blog with Perry Township trustee Craig Chessler.

Chessler enlightened The Report to the fact that he and Jim Holmes have never run against each other in Perry Township trustee elections.

The Report took the occasion to ask Chessler why he chose to run against former trustee colleague Holmes for precinct committeeman.

His answer:  "Because Gonzalez asked me to."

Isn't that interesting


An email to the SCPR earlier this week:

What are the contested/non-contested DPCC races? You mention a member of that group in today's story, I have been looking online for that information but the SCBOE  [Stark County Board of Elections] does not provide it, will you please post the races for the public? (emphasis added)

Thank you,
Paul White

Well, Mr. White "your wish is the Stark County Political Report's command!"

Here is the list of "contesteds;" 23 Democrats and 2 Republicans. (Data provided by the Stark County Board of Elections on the request of the SCPR).

Of course, as a "value added," the SCPR comments on the contests insofar as The Report is familiar with the incumbents/challengers for the respective seats insofar as what The Report thinks is relevant information to the political dynamics/import as to who wins on May 6th.

The list:

Notable in terms of the political personalities involved among the incumbent Democrats being challenged (or open seats being contested) include:
  • Canton 7GPatrick Barton
    • Barton is a former Ward 7 councilman and now is director of information technology in the William J. Healy, II administration,
    • voted for George T. Maier (brother Stark County executive vice president Johnnie A. Maier, Jr) in the February 5, and December 11th meetings of the SCDP--CC) meeting to appoint a sheriff to replace Sheriff-elect Mike McDonald who could not take office on January 7th due to what turned out to be a terminal illness,
      • Note:  Other candidates for the appointment included Democrat Louis Darrow and Republican Larry Dordea,
      • Note:  References hereafter to "Maier supporter" meaning George T. Maier and to "Darrow supporter" meaning Louis Darrow.
  • Canton 8EStephen Slesnick
    • state representative for the 49th Ohio House District
  • Canton 8FDavid Armstead, Jr.
    • opponent is Ross Rhodes,
      • an assistant Stark County prosecutor and therefore presumably a John Ferrero supporter,
    • Armstead:
        • voted for Republican Larry Dordea in the February 5, 2013 meeting,
        • voted for George T. Maier in the December 11, 2013 re-vote,
    • Massillon 1DJohn Kurtzman, 
      • opponent Margaret Elum,
        • wife of Massillon Municipal Court judge Eddie Elum
        • works as top administrative aide for Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry (see Joy Cicchinelli listing below for more information on Catazaro-Perry's connection to Johnnie A. Maier, Jr - [currently executive vice president of the Stark Dems and formerly (2003 - 2009, the party's chairman])
      • Kurtzman:
        • is chief legal counsel for and a political ally of Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero; and, of course, 
        • voted for Lou Darrow in the two contests for the sheriff appointment
    • Massillon 2ACynthia Balas-Bratton,
      • opponent David Irwin
        • works for Johnnie A. Maier, Jr political ally and Stark County recorder Rick Campbell,
        • ran as the Democratic candidate in a losing effort against Republican incumbent Councilwoman Nancy Halter in the November, 2013 general election,
      • Balas-Bratton
        • a Darrow supporter,
        • is the complainant in a protest of the candidacy of George T. Maier in petitions filed with the Stark County Board of Elections to be filed today,
    • Massillon 3AOpen (Robin Bloom not running this time)
    • Massillon 4DJoy Cicchinelli
      • a Darrow supporter
      • wife of former Massillon mayor Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr, who was defeated in the May, 2011 Democratic Primary election by Johnnie A. Maier, Jr supporter Kathy Catazaro-Perry (who went on to defeat the Republican candidate and is now the sitting mayor of Massillon)
    • Massillon 5AGrace McGraner,
      • sister of Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero,
      • a Darrow supporter
        • this seat was held previously by Scott Graber, a Massillon Democratic Party activist whom McGraner defeated in 2012
          • Graber is one of three contestants for this seat in 2014, a few years back Graber ran for Massillon City Council president against fellow Democrat Glenn Gamber in a losing effort,
    • Massillon 6AOpen (Michael Barberi not running this time)
      • Barberi defeated Massillon councilman-at-large Paul Manson in 2012,
      • 2014 match up:
        • Linda Litman versus Manson
          • Litman ran in a losing effort to Republican councilman Ed Lewis, IV in the November, 2013 general election for Massillon's Ward 6 council seat, and
          • Litman is seen by the SCPR to be a Johnnie A. Jr., political ally
    • Jackson 15Joseph Iacino, III
      • opponent Kathi Chawla is a Stark County assistant prosecutor and obviously therefore a John Ferrero supporter,
      • Iacino:
        • a George T. Maier supporter
    • Perry 13Jim Holmes,
      • opponent Craig Chessler who is an assistant Canton prosecutor who at one time was a Holmes colleague as a Perry trustee
        • thought by the SCPR to be a Maier supporter
      • Holmes:
        • a Darrow supporter,
        • a former Perry Township trustee,
        • has run against Chessler, among others, trying to reclaim a seat as trustee
    • Perry 14Barbara J. Lewis,
      • a Darrow supporter,
      • works as an administrative aide a the Stark County Democratic Party headquarters,
    • Plain 27Deametrious St. John,
      • a Maier supporter,
      • one of two Stark County Democratic Party representatives on the Stark County Board of Elections (BOE),
        • will be one of four deciders as to whether or not George T. Maier is certified by the BOE prior to February 21, 2014 as qualified to be on the November, 2014 ballot as the Democratic candidate for Stark County sheriff,
          • Maier is currently serving as the SCDP-CC sheriff appointee (December 11, 2013) having been reappointed after having been ousted by the Ohio Supreme Court (November 6, 2013 as a consequence of Swanson v. Maier, quo warranto filed February 12, 2013)
    • Tuscarawas 2: Jerry Hollinger,
      • opponent is Beth Anne Schnell
        • Schnell is reportedly a Massillon clerk of courts employee.  The Massillon clerk of of courts is, of course, Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.
        • As the incumbent she was challenged by Hollinger in 2012.  Hollinger won by a 27 to 16 count.
      • Hollinger:
        • a Tuscarawas Township trustee,
        • a Darrow supporter,
        • Debra Maier (wife of Johnnie A. Maier, Jr) is the elected fiscal officer for Tuscarawas Township
    Notable in terms of the political personalities involved among the Republicans being challenged (or open seats being contested) include:
    • North Canton 1CEmily Levitt-Iero
      • opponent Robert James McCleaster,
        • ran in losing effort in North Canton council-at-large race in November, 2013,
        • says he has no problem with Levitt-Iero as precinct committee person but that he wants to get more actively involved in Stark County Republican Party matters
    • North Canton 4BWilliam S. Cline,
      • opponent Christine Clevenger,
      • Cline:
        • a Republican member of the Stark County Board of Elections
        • faces same situation as Democrat Deametrious St. John (see SCPR notes on St John above)

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