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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.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Primary date changing in 2012

The new elections reform bill that Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign contains some interesting changes.
Among the changes in House Bill 194 is that the primary election for 2012 will be moved from March 6 to May 8.

One reason is because redistricting of Ohio’s congressional districts may not be done in time for an election to be held in March. There is no deadline for this task to be completed as 17 congressional districts will be condensed down to 15 because Ohio lost two seats in Congress after the 2010 U.S. Census was completed.

When the redistricting is completed, there are likely to be lawsuits filed that could challenge the process.
Needless to say, it would be difficult for candidates to file for an office when they aren’t sure what districts may look like.

For the Ohio Senate and Ohio House of Representatives reapportionment, the deadline to make the changes remains Oct. 1. The number of districts — 33 Senate and 99 House — will remain the same, but the boundaries are most likely to change.

The bill also will establish online voter registration. It will be up to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to define the parameters and protection of the process.

The period for absentee voting in person at county elections boards also will shrink from 35 days to 17. Plus the number of days for someone to request an absentee ballot will decrease from 35 to 21.

Elections boards also will not longer be able to send out unsolicited absentee ballot application to voters. Democratic-leaning Cuyahoga County used to send them to all registered voters, but now voters will have to request absentee ballots.

Sen. Ron Young?

Some fans want state Rep. Ron Young, R-Leroy Township, to be appointed as the Ohio Senate District 18 senator should current Sen. Tim Grendell, R-Chester Township, get appointed as Geauga County Probate/Juvenile Court judge.

The district is currently comprised of Lake, Geauga and portions of eastern Cuyahoga County.
Former state Rep. Jamie Callender and Concord Trustee Christopher Galloway have already announced they are running for Ohio Senate in 2012.

Would they still run if Young was appointed and then decided to seek the Senate seat?
Another factor is what the Ohio Senate district looks like after the reapportionment process. Will it still contain Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties? Or will it instead change to be comprised of Lake and Ashtabula counties?

New Cuyahoga GOP chairman?

Is it possible former state Rep. Matt Dolan — who resigned and moved from Russell Township to Cuyahoga County and ran unsuccessfully in November to be county executive — becomes the new GOP chairman in Cuyahoga County, replacing Rob Frost?

Candidate happenings

* Willoughby Hills Council President Kevin Malecek announced he has filed petitions with the Lake County Elections Board to seek re-election for District 3. Malecek cites the collective accomplishments of the city government during the past few years to stabilize and strengthen finances, halt the threat of Cuyahoga County airport runway expansion, and build a strong professional and cooperative relationship between the mayor and council.

* Cindy Quinn-Hopkins has announced she will seek the Eastlake Ward 3 City Council seat Nov. 8. As of Thursday morning, Quinn Hopkings had not filed candidacy petitions with the Elections Board but has until July 22. Quinn-Hopkins cites that she is an active community volunteer, served as Lake County Jury Commissioner, past president of the Eastlake Citizen’s Recreation Advisory Committee, and Lake County Christian and Professional Business Women’s Club chairwoman.


* Fundraiser to re-elect Euclid Municipal Court Judge Deborah A. LeBarron from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Tizzano’s Party Center in Euclid. See Janet Clinton.

* Lake County Clerk of Courts Maureen G. Kelly will host a summer brunch from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Gavi’s in Willoughby. See Maureen Kelly.

* Geauga County Democratic Party annual golf outing is July 10 at Pleasant Hill Golf Course in Chardon. Shotgun starts at noon, dinner at 6 p.m. See Dave Netzband.

*  Fundraiser for state Rep. Ron Young from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. July 10 at his residence with guest Ohio House Speaker Bill Bachelder See Jini or e-mail

*  Eastlake Mayor Ted Andrzejewski, annual golf outing: 8:30 a.m. shotgun start July 15 at Pine Ridge Golf Course in Wickliffe. See Ted or Jason Andrzejewski.

Desirea Thompson, a candidate for Mentor-on-the-Lake Council, hosts a spaghetti dinner 5 to 9 p.m. July 16 at the Stadium Grill in Mentor. See John Thompson.

*  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.
Twitter: newsheraldjah


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