Wednesday, January 7, 2015


The SCPR has indication that there was talk among "organized" Stark County Republicans that it would be pointless to recommend Curtis Werren to Republican governor John Kasich for appointment to Canton Municipal Court seat vacated on November 30, 2014 by Republican judge Stephen Belden.


Why not?

Because it is believed that the governor will not "second appoint" someone to an elective office when that person failed to hold the first appointed office in the election following on the heels of the appointment.

If that take on the governor is accurate, then, as the SCPR sees it, the Republicans are "between a rock and a hard place."



Because the Republicans best chance to retain the former Belden seat as a Republican-held seat is with Curtis Werren.

The other "recommended for appointment" candidate; namely, Aaron Kovalchik has virtually no chance to defeat the presumptive Democratic nominee Kristen Guardado come November, 2015.

In a SCPR analysis of the loser race of Werren's against Chryssa Hartnett (Stark County Court of Common Pleas; replacing V. Lee Sinclair to which Werren was appointed in July, 2013), Werren won by some 1,000 votes, more or less, over Harnett.

So wouldn't that make him the "odds on favorite" to defeat any Democratic opponent?

Not in the SCPR analysis, if Guardado get through the Democratic primary.

And it is hard to imagine that she will not.

Her prospective opponents include:

  • a Stark Countian (Angela Alexander) who has practiced law in Summit County for most of if not all of her career as a lawyer.
  • a "shop-worn" Democrat (E.E. Wise, Jr) who has, of late, been an administrator (North Canton) who like Werren appears to be desperate to find a job as a judge.
    • Wise has run and lost for Stark County Probate Court judge and the 5th District Court of Appeals,
      • However, The Report is being told that he is waffling on whether or not to stay in the Democratic primary
Guardado is the most experienced and the SCPR thinks most merited candidate to succeed Judge Belden.  Of particular note, her extensive work in the area of dealing with domestic violence cases which is a large part of Canton Municipal Court work.

And the SCPR is told that she will have all the financial resources she needs to wage a first-rate campaign against any Republican appointed by Kasich.

She wisely has touched base with "the powers that be" within the "organized" Stark County Party and thereby likely endeared herself to them.

And, of course, her boss is the immensely popular, well-known, and highly respected Canton law director Joseph Martuccio is in her corner.

One can safely bet will he will be going all out in support of Guardado's quest to give Stark Democrats majority control of the Canton Municipal Court bench.

And he will likely will be running unopposed on the November, 2015 ballot.

Notwithstanding the talk among local Republicans that Kasich is loathe to 2nd appoint a person who did not retain the first appointed office, the SCPR thinks as between Werren and Kovalchik, the only hope for the Republicans to hold on to the Belden slot will be for him to violate the "supposed" rule he has for giving the likes of Werren "a second bite at the Apple."

The Report thinks the Republican lose either way.

At least with Werren, they have a fighting chance.

It is interesting to note that Kovalchik is reported in local media has pledging to support Werren if Kashich appoints the former Common Pleas Court judge.

However, there is no reported such pledge coming from Werren.

So does this mean that should Kovalchik get the Kasich appointment that he will face primary opposition from Werren who has taken out petitions?

One would think that Kovalchik will be taking out petitions of his own any day now.

For if he fails to do so before the filing deadline in early February and he gets the appointment post-filing-deadline then he would only serve until the results of the November, 2015 election are certified.

Now that would be something, wouldn't it?

And, for Kovalchik, it would be a splendid turn of events if he is the appointed.

Right now, nobody outside the legal community knows who he is.  A Republican Party primary fight would change all that.

And there couldn't be a greater contrast.

Werren the quintessential nabob, establishment and privileged Republican against a more Lincolnesque - former public defender - "I connect with everyday people" Republican.

What a godsend that would be for The Stark County Political Report.

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