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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 14, 2012

How will Samide fare in November?

It took nine rounds and three hours of voting, but Geauga County Republicans finally selected Commissioner Mary Samide to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot as the party’s candidate to fill former Commissioner Bill Young’s term.

Samide eventually got the nod Tuesday night by one vote against Skip Claypool.

That came after candidates Jim Flaiz, Jim McConnell and Mark Porter eventually dropped out. Even then, some members won’t budge on their votes, much to the dismay of party leaders.

No candidate could get 25 votes by secret ballot even when it came down to just Claypool and Samide, as some members refused to vote for either.

Chairman Ed Ryder finally called for a roll call vote that gave Samide the victory.

Claypool didn’t come away empty-handed, though, as he was later that night appointed to serve as commissioner until after the election because Young’s retirement was effective June 30 and the position was vacant.

Meanwhile, Geauga County Democrats on Monday night nominated Jim Dvorak as their candidate for the race to fill the term that expires Dec. 31, 2014. So it will be Dvorak vs. Samide in that race for the unexpired term.

The vote that led to Samide’s Nov. 6 nomination brought to a head a division within the Geauga County GOP.

Some within the party wanted to see a change in the county commissioners’ office and they did not want to give Samide another opportunity. After all, Samide who sought re-election to a four-year term, was defeated in the March 6 GOP primary by Ralph Spidalieri.

I’m wondering how this all might translate in November. Geauga County Democrats likely view recent developments as an enhanced opportunity to capture a seat (or two?) on the Board of Commissioners.

Will Samide now get support from those who wanted her out of office? Perhaps some registered Republicans will choose not to cast a ballot in that race or even, gasp, vote for a Democrat?

The timing of Young’s retirement also means all three commissioner seats will be on the Nov. 6 ballot as Commissioner Tracy Jemison faces Democrat Fred Welty; Spidalieri faces Democrat Christopher John Lacny.

Are the winds of change blowing in Geauga County?

Candidate forum

The Lake County TEA Party will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Harvey High School Auditorium in Painesville to conduct a forum for Ohio Senate District 18 and Lake County recorder candidates.


Susan McGuinness, candidate for Ohio House of Representatives District 61, hosts a summer BBQ at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Perry Township Park.

State Rep. Casey Kozlowski, R-Pierpont Township, who represents the Ohio House of Representatives 99th District that next year will include portions of Geauga County, will meet with residents from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. July 26 at the Chardon Library.


n Geauga County Sheriff Daniel McClelland hosts 2012 Rib Dinner, 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Troy Community House in Troy Township. See Craig Richter.

n Fundraiser for Nancy McArthur, candidate for Ohio Senate District 32, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Southington Hunt Club, 10321 Silica Sand Rd., Garrettsville. See Jeannine Soltis.

n State Rep. Ron Young hosts a fundraiser with special guest Ohio House of Representatives Speaker Bill Batchelder from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. July 23 at Young’s home in Leroy Township. See Young.

n Lake County Commissioner Robert E. Aufuldish hosts ninth annual Ferrante Winery Celebration, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Aug. 1 at Ferrante Winery & Ristorante, Harpersfield Township. See Ernie Koenig or Kathie Aufuldish-Freshour.

n Wine tasting event honoring Judge Mary Jane Trapp, 11th District Court of Appeals Court, 5 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 1 at St. Joseph Vineyard, Madison Township. See Mike Apicella.

n David Fiebig, candidate for Lake County commissioner, backyard barbeque, 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 11 at home of David and Pauli Bokor in Concord Township. See Joyce Hribar Fiebig or John Plecnik.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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