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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.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ramping up the rumor mill

With Dec. 7 as the filing deadline for people who look to run for office in 2012, it doesn’t leave much time after the Nov. 8 election for candidates who are considering running for office next year to make their decision.

For now, many of these candidates would likely be circulating their petitions around the Thanksgiving holiday. Plus, some candidates might be fresh off winning an office for mayor, city or village council, township trustee or school board.

But there is legislation pending in the Ohio General Assembly that would push the March 2012 presidential primary to May. If that turns out to be the case, it would allow for about two months — or until February — for local candidates to make their decision to file for an office.

Moving the date further ahead might also help candidates considering running for offices such as Congress, Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate. They might be waiting to see how some district boundaries are drawn by the Ohio Apportionment Board now that the 2010 U.S. Census results have been released.

It should be an interesting summer as candidates start to seriously consider what they might do next year. The rumors have already begun to emerge, so let’s flush out a few I’ve heard.

Possible state Senate GOP primary?

State Sen. Tim Grendell, R-Chester Township, is not eligible to seek re-election due to term limits.

Some fans are encouraging state Rep. Ron Young, R-Leroy Township, to consider running next year for Ohio Senate District 18. That’s as former state Rep. Jamie Callender, a Concord Township Republican, already announced his interest in the position.

Young will have served a full two-year term in the Ohio House of Representatives 63rd District and instead of running for re-election, would he seek a four-year term in the Ohio Senate?

How about someone like Concord Township Trustee Christopher Galloway? He is not up for re-election for trustee, but could decide to run for the Senate seat, which currently is comprised of Lake, Geauga and a small portion of eastern Cuyahoga County. Galloway could also run for state representative if Young were to run for state Senate, or Galloway may consider a county office such as commissioner.

The big unknown for how this race eventually pans out is the way the 18th Senate District’s boundaries will look after the state’s apportionment board draws new maps.

The district could continue to look mostly the same or the boundaries could change to drop Geauga County and a portion of eastern Cuyahoga County, then add Democratic-leaning Ashtabula County.

Ohio House District 62?

With state Rep. Lorraine Fende, D-Willowick, no longer eligible to run again for the position due to term limits, who might seek to replace her representing western Lake County, plus Concord Township in the Ohio House of Representatives?

How about someone like Willoughby Hills Council President Kevin Malecek?

He is up for re-election this fall for his four-year term council seat. But would Democrat Malecek, also president of the Laketran Board of Trustees, want to run for seat in Columbus or perhaps consider something closer to home such as a countywide office in 2013?

In the same city, how about Councilman at-large David Fiebig, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully in November 2010 against Fende? Fiebig is up this fall for re-election to a two-year term for the citywide position. What if he decides to run again for state representative in 2012? Would any potential GOP candidates run against him after a pretty close loss to Fende?

How about Willoughby Municipal Court Judge Larry Allen, a Democrat who concludes service on the bench this year?

Candidate filings
Kirtland resident Katica Markulin and Tammy Georgian Gibson of Willoughby have filed petitions with the Lake County Elections Board as an independent candidate for Willoughby Municipal Court. They look to run against Democrat Harry Field and Republican Karen Kowall in the Nov. 8 election.

Independent candidates may file for the office until Monday at 4 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, was in Lake County Tuesday evening to visit the Lake-Geauga Young Republican meeting at the Willoughby Brewing Co,

* Malecek: Annual Cinco De Mayo party from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Willoughby Hills Community Center. See Katherine Malecek or Nora Colburn.

* Kirtland Councilman Doug Davidson, a candidate for Kirtland mayor: Meet the Candidate Night from 7 to 9 p.m. May 11, Kirtlander Party Center. See Jim Yarborough or Gina Davidson.

n Geauga County Commissioner Mary Samide: Spring buffet fundraiser 4:30 to 7 p.m. May 12 at S.O.S. Inc. in Chardon. See Samide or Jacqueline Moskal.

-- John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah


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