Blogs > Northern Ohio Local Politics

Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Are elections maddening?

Hmm. Madison Township Trustees Bill Brotzman and Jeff Quirk up for re-election this fall.

But Brotzman’s the only Madison incumbent who’s picked up candidacy nominating petitions as of Tuesday (Feb. 24).

Also with petitions for a, yes, Madison trustee seat: Max Anderson (who’s filed and who’s run before) and Marybeth Teahan. Trustee candidates will be on the ballot in both Madison Township and Madison Village, as will any candidates for Madison School Board.

School board? Incumbents David Albert, Jay Fabian and Steve Baldwin are also up for re-election this year in Madison and Madison.

But, as of the latest at the Lake County Elections Board, candidacy petitions are held so far only by Garrison Majernik for a School Board seat.
--David W. Jones

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mildly curious of possible U.S. Senate Democratic primary

I was somewhat surprised to see that both Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner have now decided to run in a Democratic primary in 2010 for U.S. Senate.

They are seeking to replace Republican Sen. George V. Voinovich who said he won't seek re-election and plans to retire to spend more time with his family.

Perhaps Fisher and Brunner feel they can make a difference in Washington serving loftier goals and, for now, are throwing their names into the hat to see what may happen.

Keep in mind a win comes with a 6-year term, two years longer than their current office. Running once every six years would be a lot easier than running once every four.

Both Democratic candidates are probably more well-known statewide at this point, than former U.S. Rep. Rob Portman, who is the only announced candidate on the Republican side.

My guess, as of now, is there won't be more than one Republican candidate. One reason is that I wonder, in this economy, whether there is enough money to spread around?

If there is another Republican candidate forcing a contested primary (perhaps state Auditor Mary Taylor?), I look for both Fisher and Brunner to stay in the Democratic race to the end.

But if there is just one Republican showing interest, I'll watch for Fisher or Brunner to possibly drop their Senate bid and seek re-election to their current office.

-- John Arthur Hutchison

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Strickland announces Web site as state's virtual headquarters for info on federal stimulus package

News from Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland's office ...

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland announced today the launch of, which will serve as the Ohio virtual headquarters for information regarding the infrastructure and other unbudgeted elements of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – the federal stimulus package.

“This Web site is designed to ensure that all eligible entities seeking federal stimulus resources are provided with an opportunity to apply for funds, and that they are considered fairly and equally,” Strickland said. “While this represents the first step of a process that will be further defined when the stimulus bill is complete, we believe this will strengthen Ohio’s ability to act quickly when the resources become available.”

Interested entities are asked to submit expressions of interest through a brief form available on

The form is not the application for stimulus resources, but the first step to identify the appropriate state agency that will facilitate the next steps in the application and review process.

The Web site will provide information updates on the stimulus process and outline the specific guidelines for submitting proposals for consideration as the federal guidelines are identified.

-- John Arthur Hutchison

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Strickland, Dems making their pitches to approve the federal stimulus package

By now, you probably know that Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is counting on $3.4 billion in federal funds to help balance his proposed $55 billion state budget.

High-powered Democrats across the country are making their pitches to drum up support to approve the federal stimulus package.

According to Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland's office ...

On Friday, Strickland will join Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, and House Democratic Caucus Chair John Larson for a press conference in Williamsburg, Va., to discuss the economic challenges facing the country and the need for a comprehensive federal stimulus to create and save jobs and protect the critical health, education, and public safety services that states and communities provide.

Later, Strickland will join Governor Perdue, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and New York Governor David Paterson for a panel discussion on the economy and the impacts of the federal stimulus package on their states.

-- John Arthur Hutchison

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

State Sen. Kevin Coughlin delares GOP bid for governor

The Associated Press is reporting that Republican state Sen. Kevin Coughlin says he's running for governor in Ohio.

It will be interesting to see who else files for the office. Former Republican U.S. Rep. John Kasich is also exploring a run for governor.

Coughlin announced Tuesday in a video posted on his campaign Web site that he'll be a candidate in 2010. His candidacy papers were filed Monday at the Secretary of State's office.

Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland hasn't officially declared for a second term but has been raising money at "re-election kickoff" receptions around the state.

The 37-year-old Coughlin said that Ohio is adrift and needs a tax and regulatory environment that will be more welcoming to job creation.

Coughlin has represented Summit County in the Senate since 2001. He was a member of the state's House of Representatives from 1997-2001.

-- John Arthur Hutchison