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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, February 25, 2012

Open races opened doors for candidates

The March 6 primary election shapes up to be one of the most interesting the area has seen in a while.

Many races on both sides of the political spectrum see contested primaries with two or more candidates seeking their party’s nomination. Long-time political observers say it’s the highest number contested primaries in decades, if not ever, at least in Lake County.

One might be quick to say that voters and the public are more engaged or angrier than ever and that created an increased interest by candidates.

But a more likely reason, longtime political officials note, is there are several open seats, with current officerholders not seeking re-election.

For example, the Lake County treasurer race has five candidates who seek one of two party nominations after Treasurer John Crocker, a Democrat, decided not to run again.

That opened the candidacy field especially on the Democratic side, with three hopefuls lining up: state Rep. Lorraine M. Fende, Perry Township Fiscal Officer Christine Page and Mentor-on-the-Lake Mayor John Rogers. On the GOP side is Riverside Board of Education member Belinda Grassi and former Concord Township Trustee Bob Patterson.

For Lake County commissioner there are eight candidates running for two positions. Democrats and Republicans have two candidates running for two seats. For the Jan. 2 term, Commissioner Raymond E. Sines decided not to run.

The Democratic race for Ohio House of Representatives District 60 has three candidates for the position, as Fende cannot run again due to term limits.

The GOP race for the newly shaped Ohio House of Representatives 76th District, consisting of part of Geauga and Portage counties, proved highly important as the four-way primary winner is likely to be appointed for the remainder of the term for the 98th House District, which currently consists of Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

The 98th House District seat is now held by state Rep. Mary Brigid “Bridey” Matheney, R-Bainbridge Township, who was recently appointed with the understanding she would step down after the primary election is certified.

Lake County Tea Party PAC

The political action committee recently announced candidate endorsements for the March 6 primary.
For the Lake commissioner term commencing Jan. 2, endorsed were Republicans David M. Fiebig and Richard Shreve, and Democrat Ted Andrzejewski. For the commissioner term commencing Jan. 3, endorsed candidates were Republicans Linda Burhenne and John Hamercheck.

For Lake County treasurer, endorsed by the PAC are Republicans Grassi and Patterson, and Democrat Page.

Lake County GOP endorsement

Lake County Common Pleas Court Judge Eugene A. Lucci was endorsed for re-election by the county Republican Party. His name was inadvertently left off the party’s endorsement list in my column two weeks ago.


n Campaign kickoff party for Emilee Teresczuk, candidate for Lake County Clerk of Courts, 5 to 7:30 p.m. March 14 at Frank and Pauly’s in Mentor. See Brian Wollet.

n St. Patrick’s Day Celebration for Lake County Commissioner Robert E. Aufuldish, 5 to 7:30 p.m. March 15 at Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites LaMalfa in Mentor. See Kathie Aufuldish-Freshour, Ernie Koenig.

n St. Patty’s Day Celebration fundraiser for Nancy McArthur, candidate for Ohio Senate District 32, from 4 to 8 p.m. March 17. See Michael McArthur.

n Fundraiser for state Rep. Ron Young, 6 to 8 p.m. March 19 at Stadium Grill in Mentor. See Jini Gorg.

n Spring Fever Celebration for Fiebig, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 21 at Willoughby Hills Community Center. See Joyce Hribar Fiebig, Cindy Quinn-Hopkins.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: newsheraldjah


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