Blogs > Northern Ohio Local Politics

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, May 4, 2013

Who's running for Congress?

National observers believe Ohio’s 14th Congressional District has the potential to play out as a fairly competitive race when compared to many around the country.

So far, there doesn’t seem to be an abundance of candidates lining up to run next year, but it’s still early.
Running for Congress usually requires a significant amount of money and time to operate a successful campaign, so people who want to jump in the race might need to make some decisions fairly soon.

The seven-county district in Northeast Ohio includes all of Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula counties, plus portions of Summit, Portage and Trumbull counties.

U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce, R-Russell Township, most likely seeks re-election and he’s got more than $463,000 cash on hand, according to his latest campaign filing with the Federal Elections Commission.

Joyce is in the middle of his first term, typically a time when an incumbent can be more vulnerable.

It remains to be seen if another Republican would step up to seriously challenge Joyce at this point as the incumbent congressman has a headstart on the fundraising process and appears to be working hard attending events, meeting with community leaders and learning about his constituents.

Democrat Michael Wager of Shaker Heights continues to raise money to run for the position. A quick check with the FEC shows that Wager’s campaign committee has more than $174,000 cash on hand.

Wager’s last FEC filing shows the bulk of his contributors have come from Cuyahoga County, which is a relatively small portion of the district.

Meanwhile, many folks are watching Lake County Commissioner Daniel P. Troy, a Willowick Democrat contemplating a potential run next year for the 14th Congressional District seat.

Troy, whose four-year term as commissioner ends next year, appears to be weighing whether he will run for re-election to his county post or if he might have something else in mind.

I don’t think Troy would run for a seat in the Ohio General Assembly in Columbus especially after he won a Democratic Party primary for state representative in May 2012, but then decided to withdraw as a candidate and remain a county commissioner.

Probate update

After Lake County Probate Court Judge Ted Klammer died March 13, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor assigned retired Stark County Probate Court Judge R.R. Denny Clunk to serve a three-month assignment on the Probate Court bench.

Sitting judges of the county Common Pleas Court also have helped cover the Probate Court docket until a judge is appointed by the Gov. John Kasich.

I’m hearing that the Lake County Republican Party soon plans to send a list of recommendations to the governor.

Favorites to appear on that potential list are said to be (in alphabetical order) Geauga County Assistant Prosecutor Mark Bartolotta, Lake County Probate Court Magistrate Lora Lynne Krider, Lake County Assistant Prosecutor John O’Donnell and Jim O’Leary, a Painesville Township attorney.

Across the state there are at least 15 other judicial vacancies that need to be filled by the governor, so it may be a while before Kasich makes the Probate Court appointment.

Filed petitions

Recently filing candidacy petitions with the Lake County Elections Board was Kimberly Evers for Eastlake Council at large.

Taken out petitions

Recently signing out candidacy petitions are Matt Jaworski for Wickliffe Council at large; Greg Sasse for Mentor Council at large; Ashley Hacking for Perry School Board; Matthew G. Shultz for Kirtland Council at large; and Bob Fiala for Willoughby Council Ward 3.


n Fundraiser for Willoughby Mayor Dave Anderson, 5 to 7 p.m. May 14 at Willoughby Panini’s. See Rick Hart or Anderson.

n Lake County Commissioner Robert E. Aufuldish, 18th annual golf outing, 11:30 a.m. registration May 31 at Powderhorn Country Club in Madison Township. See Kathie Aufuldish-Freshour or Ernie Koenig.

n Lake County Sheriff Daniel A. Dunlap’s Golf and Steak Fry, 10:30 a.m. shotgun start June 7 at Painesville Country Club. See Lu Dunlap or Frank Leonbruno.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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