Sunday, October 25, 2015






One would think that a candidate with Republican Lee Brunckhart's campaign finance summary sheet like this:

would have "a snowball's chance in Hell" of winning Massillon's November 3rd general election mayoralty race.

But he probably has better odds than the "no chance at all of surviving" snowball.

He certainly will receive votes on the 3rd but the questions is can he survive as a winner.

Probably not.  

But nobody thought that the powerful, well financed and articulate Eric Cantor (2014 congressional elections, Virginia - LINK) would get bounced out of Congress by someone somewhat similar to Lee Brunckhart in terms of campaign finance.  Cantor had a $1 million to $100,000 campaign finance advantage over his opponent.

He did clearly best Mayor Catazaro-Perry (the Democratic candidate)

and former mayor Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr. (the "independent") in their October 15th "candidates forum" presentation hosted by the Canton Area League of Women Voters, The Repository and The Independent.

The Report hears that Brunckhart has caught the eye of Massillon Cable TV's Bob Gessner on the strength of his outstanding presentation at the October 15th candidates' forum.

As a follow on, that performance gained him the endorsement of The Independent

Both of those factors are a "really" big deal.

Gessner has always been a huge Kathy Catazaro-Perry support.

And J. David Ress, the highly "inexperienced" Democrat that Catazaro-Perry barely defeated (87 votes) in the Democratic primary in May, says had The Independent given him a fair shake, he would have won the primary.

If Ress is correct, with The Independent endorsing Brunckhart within days of the Lincoln Theater candidates forum, perhaps, the powers that be at The Indie have learned that the mayor is not good for Massillon.

It has been suggested to the SCPR that Gessner maybe had more that his fill of Mayor Kathy as her appointee on the Massillon Financial Planning and Supervision Commission (Commission).

Gessner is a very bright guy and is nobody's fool.

Maybe just maybe he figured he was being played the fool by the mayor and the likes of Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., R. Shane Jackson and Eddie Elum.

The SCPR was impressed with Gessner and the questions he was asking on the occasions The Report covered Commission meetings.  It was obvious to the SCPR that Bob Gessner was way ahead of other Commission members (except, of course, the folks from Columbus.

It was interesting to see his frustration with the mayor bubble to the surface in the meeting just before the meeting when the Commission settled on a plan.

The Report thinks it was at that meeting that Catazaro-Perry and her "kitchen cabinet" figured out that she needed to get much more reasonable in working with Massillon City Council and the terrific Commission chairperson (Sharon Hanrahan) or she was going to be looking "really, really" bad before the Massillon voting public not all that far in advance of the 2015 mayoralty election(s).

As it was, he had already made it obvious that she was the problem.  Not city council, not the Commission chairperson and her fellows from Columbus, but, rather Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry.

In the process of being obstinate just for the sake of being obstinate she may have got Gessner looking for somebody else to support for mayor of Massillon.

He probably thought that he was going to have no choice but to stick with the incumbent mayor.

But then came along Republican Lee Brunckhard and his stellar October 15th performance.

Undoubtedly, Gessner and others are bother by the seeming lack of government experience on Brunckhart's part.

However, Brunckhart has the perfect answer for there concerns.

He is telling one and all in response to concerns about his lack of hands on government leadership experience:  (paraphrase)  "Okay, you had Frank Cicchinelli for 24 years, you've had Kathy Catazaro-Perry for 4 years and Massillon is in fiscal emergency, why would you be worried about Lee Brunckhart's ability to lead?"

And the SCPR thinks and perhaps Gessner and a growing number of Massillonians that:  "You know what, the guy has a helluva point."

The Report hears that Gessner has been in touch with Brunckhart asking what he could do to help the Brunckhart candidacy.

What did Brunckhart suggest?

Keep running the video of the candidates forum on Massillon Cable TV.

And The Report is told that such is exactly what Gessner is doing.

As a consequence, Brunckhart is getting a steady stream of calls from everyday Massillonians asking for campaign signs.

So notwithstanding that as of October 15th "the balance on hand" on the summary sheet at the top of their respective CFRs shows:
  • Brunckhart:  $104.03
  • Cicchinelli:  $2,930.47
  • Catazaro-Perry:  $10,016.83
Could it be that both Catazaro-Perry and Cicchinelli, the media and the Massillon public is in for huge surprise somewhere about 11:00 p.m. on election night?

The SCPR sees he possiblity of a Brunckhart upset notwithstanding the figurative millon to one odds against him as turning out to possibly being the "real" story of the Brunckhart, Catazaro-Perry and Cicchinelli.

In a little over a week we shall know the answer to that question.

It could be another very exhilarating night for Lee Brunckhart, no?

In the meantime, take a look at the respective campaign finance reports for the candidates:




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