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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, April 14, 2012

Young's move opens doors for Geauga GOP appointment(s)

Congratulations to Geauga County Commissioner Bill Young, who announced Tuesday that he would leave office effective June 30 after serving since 2003.

Young, a Republican, previously worked in the insurance industry for 37 years and had spent time as a South Russell Village mayor and councilman.

After Young’s resignation is effective, the Geauga County Republican Party Central Committee will have five to 45 days to appoint a new commissioner, according to state law.

What if the Geauga GOP asked Commissioner Mary Samide to switch seats and appointed her to Young’s term, which expires Dec. 31, 2014?

Samide was up for re-election this year as her term is set to expire Jan. 2, but she lost a Geauga County Republican Party primary on March 6 to challenger Ralph Spidalieri.

Samide could resign and then be appointed by Republicans to fill the remainder of Young’s term.

That would also create a new vacancy as Samide’s term would need filled. Who could be appointed to fill the last eight-plus months this year? How about Spidalieri?

Geauga Republicans could also appoint Spidalieri to Young’s term. Then if he was to win election to the term commencing Jan. 3, there would be another vacancy to fill the remainder of Young’s term that expires Dec. 31, 2014. Even if he lost the Nov. 6 race, Spidalieri would still be a commissioner until Young’s term expired.

Why would Republicans want to do this? Well, it would give the first-time candidate’s campaign for commissioner on Nov. 6 a boost against Democrat Christopher John Lacny.

If Geauga Republicans want to pick someone completely different there are a few names already floating around.

Among them are Newbury Trustee Jan Blair, Jim McConnell of Chester Township, and South Russell Village Councilman Jim Flaiz.

How about state Rep. Mary Brigid “Bridey” Matheney, R-Bainbridge Township? She’ll step down shortly from her position in Columbus as the Ohio House GOP will soon appoint Matt Lynch to the position.

Matheney had been appointed as state representative in February to fill the vacancy left by former state Rep. Richard Hollington who was elected as Hunting Valley mayor. Hollington wouldn’t be interested in a commissioner seat, or would he?

Party reorganization

The Lake County Democratic Party conducted its reorganization meeting April 2 with no changes in leadership.

Re-elected were Tom Tagliamonte as chairman, Bob Schiebli, executive 1st vice president; Randy Klammer, second vice president; Keith Hocevar, labor vice president; William Baker, treasurer; and Kevin Malecek, secretary.

The Geauga county Republican Party conducted its reorganization meeting Tuesday with no changes in leadership, although there was a two-man race for party chairman, as incumbent chairman Ed Ryder defeated Greg Soltis.

Others re-elected were Blake Rear, vice-chairman of the central committee, Ken Blair, vice chairman of the executive committee; Frank Gliha, treasurer of central and executive committeea; and Roberta Halford, secretary of the central and executive committees.

The Ohio Democratic Party also re-elected Chris Redfern as state party chairman, as he held off a challenge by Tony Giardini of Lorain County.

The Ohio Republican Party was slated to hold its party reorganization on Friday, past the deadline for this column. But all signals pointed to former Chairman Bob Bennett taking over his old position.


n Fundraiser for Susan McGuinness, candidate for Ohio House of Representatives District 61, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday at Match Works Tavern in Mentor. See Walt McNamara or Ray McGuinness.

n Annual Buffet Dinner fundraiser for Lake County Prosecutor Charles E. Coulson, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at LaMalfa in Mentor. See Stephen Byron.

n Malecek will host his 8th Annual Cinco De Mayo Party, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 3 at Willoughby Hills Community Center. See Malecek or Nora Colburn.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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