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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, September 22, 2012

Minor parties hope to make major splash

With about six weeks to go until the Nov. 6 election, many voters now start to pay attention.
Unless you live under a rock though, most everyone knows that President Barack Obama seeks re-election and the Republican challenger is Mitt Romney.

The race for U.S. Senate in Ohio pits incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, against Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Republican.

But what many people don’t realize is there are other people running for these positions as well. They come from “minor” parties or are nonpartisan. A lot of times when a voter goes to cast his or her ballot they might think ‘Who are these people?’”.

In Ohio, there actually are seven candidates on the ballot for president including Obama and Romney. The other five are Stewart Alexander, Socialist; Richard Duncan, nonpartisan; Virgil Goode, Constitution; Gary Johnson, Libertarian; and Jill Stein, Green Party.

For the U.S. Senate race, Scott A. Rupert is a nonpartisan candidate on the ballot running against Brown and Mandel.

There are four people on the Nov. 6 ballot for Ohio’s 14th Congressional District. You know, the one from which U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette decided to retire.

They are Democrat Dale Virgil Blanchard, Republican David P. Joyce, Libertarian David Macko, and Green Party candidate Elaine R. Mastromatteo.

So why do minor parties or nonpartisan candidates run when it seems so often they don’t win or have a realistic chance?

Minor party or nonpartisan candidates who run in partisan contests usually want their voice to be heard. They also want to offer voters another choice.

Perhaps their platform is a combination of what the major parties offer or maybe what they believe and stand for is far different than the mainstream and they want people to know about it.

However, it can be difficult to get that message out because so often it takes money and/or name recognition to accomplish that.

Whenever free opportunities for publicity are provided they must take advantage of that, such as a newspaper like The News-Herald asking candidates to return an election questionnaire. For this election, each of the four 14th Congressional District candidates did that.

Mastromatteo and Macko also plan to conduct their own “Third Party Candidate” debate at 7 p.m. Thursday at Elm Street School in Painesville.


n John and Terri Hamila of Eastlake host an meet and greet 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday for candidates David Fiebig, John Hamercheck, Bob Patterson, Lori DiNallo and John Eklund.

n The Western Reserve Women’s Republican Club hosts a luncheon at the Hillbrook Club in Russell Township on Friday with Joyce as featured speaker. Contact Mary Ellen Schron.

Candidate forums

n The News-Herald, League of Women Voters, and Lake County Chambers of Commerce will co-host a forum for the four Lake County commissioner candidates at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Lake Erie College in Painesville.

n Painesville Area Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual luncheon with candidates and issue representatives Friday at Hellriegel’s Inn in Painesville Township.

n The League of Women Voters of Geauga County will host four candidates nights: 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at West Geauga High School, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 3 at Geauga County Senior Center in Claridon Township, 7 p.m. Oct. 4 at Chardon Middle School, and 7 p.m. Oct. 17 at Kenston School in Auburn Township.


n Fundraiser for John Patterson, candidate for Ohio House of Representatives District 99, with U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan as featured speaker, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at Grotto Hall in Ashtabula Township. See Michael Triozzi.

n Heidi and Jamie Callender will host a fundraiser for Ohio House of Representative Republican candidates in Lake and Geauga counties, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at their home in Concord Township. See Heidi.

n Lake County Commissioner Daniel P. Troy hosts his Fall Classic and Clam Bake, 12:30 p.m. shotgun start, 5 p.m. dinner Oct. 1 at Lost Nation Municipal Golf Course in Willoughby. See Troy or Kip Molenaar.

n Werner Barthol, candidate for Lake County prosecutor, hosting Oktoberfest 5:30 to 9 p.m. Oct. 5 at Lake Metroparks Painesville Township Park Community Center/Ballroom. See Kelly Barthol or James Falvey.

n Fall clambake for John Rogers, candidate for Ohio House of Representatives District 60, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at Mentor Beach Park in Mentor-on-the-Lake. See Rogers or John Crocker.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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