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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.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Jemison retirement means another Geauga GOP retirement

Geauga County Commissioner Tracy Jemison surprised a lot of people this week when he announced that he would retire from the position effective Oct. 31.

Jemison has served as a county commissioner for the past five years and before that he served as the county auditor for 13 years.

He also served for eight years in the 1970s as a Middlefield Village councilman and from 1988 to 1991 as a Berkshire School Board member.

So the county will lose a lot of the governmental expertise when Jemison takes his leave.

It also means there will be another political appointment to be made by the Geauga County Republican Party — something we’ve seen a lot of during the past few years.

Last year, the county GOP appointed Jim Flaiz as prosecutor after Dave Joyce left the post to run for Congress after former U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette decided at the end of July that he would retire and dropped out as the Republican candidate.

Dr. Robert S. Coleman was also appointed to be the party’s candidate for coroner last November after Dr. John Urbancic withdrew from the race.

When former Commissioner Bill Young retired last summer, Republicans appointed Walter “Skip” Claypool to serve until the next election — held in November 2012. The party appointed Commissioner Mary Samide to be that candidate, rather than Claypool, after she was defeated in a GOP primary for her own re-election. She then defeated Democrat Jim Dvorak.

The county GOP also was part of the process after former Probate/Juvenile Court Judge Charles “Chip” Henry died. Gov. John Kasich eventually selected Tim Grendell as the new judge.

Whoever is appointed as the new commissioner will have to run in a GOP primary in May if they want to finish the unexpired term, which ends Jan. 1, 2017.

Just a few of the names I’ve heard who might express interest are Chardon Mayor Phil King, South Russell Village Councilman Mark Porter, Claypool, and perhaps someone within the party leadership like Blake Rear.

Geauga County Democrats most likely will recruit someone to run in the May primary, as well. Perhaps Dvorak will give it another try?

Along with Jemison’s retirement prompting an election next year to finish his unexpired term, Samide’s term expires Dec. 31, 2014.

So that means there will be two commissioner seats up for grabs next year. This is going to be interesting.

Candidate endorsements

Candidates in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties who appear on the Nov. 5 ballot may send in listings of endorsements they receive for the upcoming election via email, fax or standard mail. They will appear online periodically on The News-Herald’s Northern Ohio Politics blog.


n Eric Condon, candidate for Euclid Council Ward 8, hosts Cleveland vs. Buffalo Tailgate Party, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Oct. 3 at Paradise Island Saloon in Euclid. See Condon.

n State Rep. Matt Lynch hosts a clambake, 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 4 at Centerville Mills Park in Bainbridge Township. See Lynch or Kerri Quay.

n Dennis Morley, candidate for Eastlake mayor, hosts Steak Roast Fundraiser, 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 6 at Boracs Landing in Eastlake. See Donna Vaughn or Dale Bradley.

n Thomas E. Ray, candidate for Chardon Council, hosts a fundraiser 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 6 at Morgan's Smokehouse on the Square in Chardon. See Ray.

n State Rep. John Rogers hosts fall clambake, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 10 at Mentor Beach Park in Mentor-on-the-Lake. See Rogers or Kip Molenaar.

n Matt Jaworski, candidate for Wickliffe Council at large, hosts a bowling fundraiser, noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 12 at Wickliffe Lanes. See Jaworski or Matt Gallik.

n Lake County Commissioner Judy Moran hosts Oktoberfest 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 17 at American Legion Hall in Willowick. See Paul Miller or Kevin Malecek.

n Lake County Recorder Ann M. Radcliffe hosts spaghetti dinner fundraiser 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Park Road Grill in Painesville Township. See Terri Conley.

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