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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.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Blackwell won't seek U.S. Senate

In a bit of a surprise, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell recently announced that he will not seek the Republican Party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate next year.

So far, the only announced candidate for the GOP is former state Sen. Kevin Coughlin of Cuyahoga Falls.

However, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, a former state representative and Lyndhurst councilman, has formed a committee with the Federal Elections Commission and is raising money for a potential candidacy.

A report in the Cleveland Plain Dealer stated that Mandel has already raised $2.34 million for the race.

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has about $3.5 million in the bank but has had more time to raise funds, the report states.

Mandel, who was elected treasurer in November, has not announced he intends to run for U.S. Senate.

But all indications seem to point toward him entering the race as the Ohio Democratic Party continues to take his candidacy seriously.

Blackwell made his announcement on Twitter after he talked with The Daily Caller, a national news website.

In the report, Blackwell outlined four reasons why he didn’t want to run.

Here’s what he said:
  • “Running would require me to make ‘nice’ with folks with whom I would rather not.”
  • “After serving as Mayor, State Treasurer, and Secretary of State, I much prefer executive office over a legislative office.”
  • “Since I have always said that I would not personally engage in campaigning for elective office past age 70, I could not and would not run for re-election if successful this time. I believe to get done what needs to be done in the U.S. Senate, the next senator needs to make a two-term commitment. I cannot.”
  • “The encouragement and commitment I received from movement conservatives and donors in Ohio and from across the country were substantial, and a source of political strength that the GOP establishment has never been able to grasp.”
With Blackwell apparently out of the picture, it certainly opens the door a bit wider for Coughlin, who may face more of a challenge for support statewide since he has not won a statewide office like Mandel or Brown has.

Mandel has served as state treasurer for only seven months, so how will voters respond if he does decide to run for U.S. Senate?

Party time

Both political parties in Geauga County have planned picnic events next Sunday afternoon.

Coughlin will be the featured keynote speaker as the Geauga County Republican Party and Geauga County Republican Women host a picnic from 2 to 6 p.m. at Patterson Farms in Chester Township. For more information, see Dorothy Fromhercz.

The Geauga County Democratic Party and political action committee We Are Ohio will host a picnic from 1 to 4 p.m. at the party’s headquarters in Newbury Township. The event is designed to thank volunteers who support local activities year round and the SB5 Repeal campaign. See Terri McIntee Larnas.

Candidate filings
Cindy Quinn-Hopkins announced she filed petitions with the Lake County Elections Board to run as a candidate for Eastlake Council Ward 3. The filing deadline for Eastlake Council candidates is Friday.

  • Fundraiser for Mentor Councilwoman at Large Janet Dowling from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Branding Iron Cookhouse in Mentor. See Rick Zaleski or Dowling.
  • Picnic in the Park for Quinn-Hopkins from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Surfside Park in Eastlake. See Jim Hopkins.
  • Campaign kickoff reception for Jack Johnson, candidate for Euclid mayor, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Tizzano’s Party Center in Euclid. See Frank Ilcin.
  • Fundraiser for Jamie Callender, candidate for Ohio Senate, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. July 26 at the Matchworks Tavern in Mentor. See Emilee Tereszuk or Heidi Callender.
  • Kirtland Councilman Doug Davidson, a candidate for mayor, hosts a cocktail reception from 7 to 10 p.m. July 28 at a private residence. See John Grazia, Phil Rini or Gina Davidson.
  • Lake County Commissioner Robert E. Aufuldish hosts eighth annual Ferrante Winery Celebration from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 3 at Ferrante Winery and Ristorante in Harpersfield Township. See Ernie Koenig or Kathie Aufuldish-Freshour.

-- John Arthur Hutchison | | @newsheraldjah

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Anonymous Patrick Morgan said...

Kevin Coughlin is only one other candidate but not THE ONLY other candidate. Visit A citizen candidate truly in touch with the people's best interests NOT a career politician looking for the next best office. A working class guy that can cause major problems for Sherrod Brown based on the issues.

P. Morgan

July 17, 2011 at 8:51 AM 

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