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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, January 5, 2013

Moran is Lake's first Democratic female commissioner

A new era began in Lake County after Judy Moran was sworn-in Tuesday as the first Democratic female commissioner in the county’s 172 years of history.

Moran, formerly Willowick Council’s president, now is the second woman to serve as a Lake County commissioner. Republican Mildred M. Teuscher was the first woman to serve as a commissioner before retiring in January 2003.

Democratic Party women in Lake County also have fared well in recent elections including winning four positions at the county level on Nov. 6.

Lorraine M. Fende won election as treasurer, Ann M. Radcliffe was elected recorder, and Maureen G. Kelly was re-elected to her second term as clerk of courts.

When Kelly was first elected in 2008, she became the first Democrat in 40 years to be elected to the position and the first Democratic woman to serve as clerk.

As for other candidates who will appear on the ballot this year, only one race in the county is eligible to have a partisan primary in May — Mentor Municipal Court judge.

Judge John Trebets has served as the court’s judge after he was first elected to a six-year term in 2001 and then re-elected in 2007.

The filing deadline to run as a candidate for Mentor Municipal Court judge is Feb. 6 and if there was a primary it would be held May 7 along with any special election involving issues such as school levies.

Nonpartisan races for the Nov. 5 General Election have until Aug. 7 to file nominating petitions with the county Elections Board. Some candidates have already taken out petitions.

Strickland nearing decision?

Look for some development in the next few weeks on who could be the Democratic Party’s 2014 candidate for Ohio governor.

Democrat sources say that former Gov. Ted Strickland is being vetted for a potential position in President Barack Obama’s administration, especially after Strickland played a vital role as an Obama surrogate during the presidential campaign.

If that doesn’t happen, it’s quite possible that Strickland may throw his hat into the ring to challenge incumbent Gov. John Kasich, setting up a possible rematch.

The race between Strickland and Kasich in 2010 was fairly close, so it might be interesting to see the two battle once again.

If Strickland declines to run, many think that Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald will decide to seek the party nomination.

Coming from Ohio’s largest county, FitzGerald likely would do well in Northeast Ohio, but it’s not certain how he would fare in other areas of the state where his name is not as well-known as someone like Kasich or Strickland.

Other names often tossed around as potential Democratic gubernatorial candidates are U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles; and Richard Cordray, former Ohio Attorney General and treasurer, who now serves as director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

To the brink

Once again, the country was led down the path of brinkmanship when Congress passed legislation by a vote of 257-167 Tuesday night to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

All five House Democrats from Ohio voted in favor and Ohio’s House Republicans split, six voting in favor and seven against.

Those voting in favor were Democrats Marcia Fudge, Marcy Kaptur, Dennis Kucinich, Tim Ryan and Betty Sutton, and Republicans John Boehner, Bill Johnson, Steve LaTourette, Robert Latta, Steve Stivers, and Pat Tiberi.

Members who voted against the legislation were Republicans Steve Austria, Steve Chabot, Bob Gibbs, Jim Jordan, Jim Renacci, Jean Schmidt and Michael Turner.

As for LaTourette, he leaves his post during an unusually busy final few days of his term. Now U.S. Rep. David P. Joyce, R-Russell Township, who was sworn-in Thursday, will represent Ohio’s 14th Congressional District.

A Sutton move?

There has been some rumblings that Sutton, D-Copley, who is now a former U.S. Rep. who lost a bitter battle on Nov. 6 against Renacci, R-Wadsworth, might consider a move to Ohio’s 14th Congressional District to potentially run again for Congress in 2014. However, local sources say it appears that’s not likely to happen.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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