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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, December 13, 2013

Time to ponder a Lake County run

’Tis the season for political speculation, as potential candidates in 2014 toss around the idea of whether to make a run for office.

A few folks have already pulled candidacy petitions as they get ready for the holidays, while some may still be in the process of weighing the pros and cons of a candidacy.

The filing deadline to run in the May 6 primary as a partisan candidate is Feb. 5. Independent candidates have a filing deadline of May 5.

An interesting primary may be to determine who the Republican candidate is to run for Lake County commissioner. The seat is currently held by Commissioner Daniel P. Troy, a Willowick Democrat who so far is indicating he will run for re-election, although he’s put some thought into running for Congress. If he does run for re-election, I think it would be tough to see any primary opponent seriously challenge him.

Several Republican names I’m hearing are North Perry Councilman Dick Shreve; Madison Village Councilman John R. Hamercheck; Willoughby Hills Councilman David M. Fiebig; Concord Township Trustee Christopher Galloway; and Willoughby resident Kim Laurie, who is president of the 9/12 Project in Mentor.

Shreve, Hamercheck and Fiebig ran for commissioner in 2012, with the latter two winning their party nomination, but losing in the general election.

I’m hearing there is heavy interest on the Democratic side to run for Lake County Common Pleas Court judge term commencing Jan. 5. The seat is currently held by Judge Joe Gibson, a Democrat who can’t seek re-election due to age limits.

Republican John P. O’Donnell has already filed petitions to run for the seat, and indications are that he won’t have a primary opponent.

People I hear considering a run on the Democratic side are Dennis LaConti, who ran against Gibson in the 2008 Democratic primary, along with Painesville Law Director Ron Graham and Jim Dugan, who ran in a 2008 Democratic primary for Lake County Juvenile Court judge.

For Lake County Probate Court, appointed Judge Mark J. Bartolotta, a Republican, plans to run to retain the seat, and Mentor Prosecutor Lisa Klammer, a Democrat, plans to challenge him. Keep your eye on a potential independent candidate, as it’s possible someone like Heidi Koenig might run.

Take two

Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald will have another opportunity to pick a running mate, now that his first choice, state Sen. Eric Kearney of Cincinnati, is off the ticket.

The selection of Kearney and the subsequent decision for him to leave as a lieutenant governor candidate doesn’t reflect well on the campaign. But there is still time for a rebound, and it’s dependent on who is eventually selected.

Some potential choices may include former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, who lives in Columbus, and state Rep. Tracey Maxwell Heard, a Columbus resident who is the Ohio House of Representatives minority leader.

Metroparks appointment

It will be interesting to see who Bartolotta appoints when the term of Lake Metroparks Commissioner Ellen Foley Kessler, a Democrat, expires Dec. 31. Will she be reappointed or will someone new take her place? Keep in mind, each of the three current Metroparks commissioners is a Democrat.

Swearing in

Josh Pennock and Chuck Hillier will be sworn in as Painesville Township trustees at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday during the trustee meeting at Township Hall.


The weekly deadline to submit information for this column is each Wednesday by 5 p.m. Email or fax is preferred.


  • Campaign kickoff for Lake County Juvenile Court Judge Karen Lawson, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16 at LaMalfa Party Center in Mentor. See Lu Dunlap.
  • John P. O’Donnell, candidate for Lake County Common Pleas Court, hosts a fundraiser 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23, at LaMalfa Party Center. See Mike Lucas, Mike Bucci or Ann Bergen.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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