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Friday, September 21, 2007

OH-5: Scorecard! Scorecard! Can't Tell The Players Without A Scorecard!

5th District. North Central Ohio (Ashland, Crawford, Defiance,
Fulton, Henry, Huron, Lucas, Mercer, Paulding, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca,
Van Wert, Williams, Wood, Wyandot Counties). Includes Norwalk, Bucyrus, Tiffin,
Defiance, Bowling Green, Fremont. Cook PVI R+10.1. Bush won 61% in 2004. Incumbent Paul Gillmor, who defeated repeat challenger Robin Weirauch by 57% to 43% in 2006, died on September 4, 2007. A primary election will be held on November 6th and a special election on December 11th.
  • State Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green)
  • State Sen. Steve Buehrer (R-Delta)
  • State Rep. Jeff Wagner (R-Sycamore)
  • Mayor Terry Overmyer (R-Fremont)
  • Sandusky County Commissioner Brad Smith (R-Fremont)
  • Former University Administrator Robin Weirauch (D-Napoleon)
  • City Councilman Mike Grandillo (D-Tiffin)


At September 22, 2007 8:46 AM , Stewart said...

Jim Lorenzen, President, BAS Broadcasting, Fremont, also circulating a petition.
Lives in Perrysburg but works the whole eastern end of the district.

At September 22, 2007 4:00 PM , Anonymous said...

Rex and Terry are definitely not running for Congress. Brad Smith is still a question mark...I, for one, hope that he does!

At September 22, 2007 4:02 PM , Anonymous said...

Jim who??? Is he a Dem or Rep...of course, it doesn't really matter...he's a non-factor...

At September 22, 2007 4:54 PM , Local Lady said...

Sandusky County Commissioner Brad Smith is EXACTLY the type of person we republicans should hope continue to sacrifice their own personal & professional careers for a life of public service.

He is a gifted attorney, smart businessman, great speaker, and is comfortable in his own skin.

In my experience, he has always said exactly what he believes, supports his opinions very well, but is never nasty or political about it. The artful ability to disagree with you, but still be friendly & gracious, even in victory.

Tell me where to send a check and I'll support Smith, long-shot or not!

At September 22, 2007 5:00 PM , Anonymous said...

I'm all for it! Mr. Smith goes to Washington! Run Brad, Run!

At September 22, 2007 5:54 PM , poli-sci 101 said...

"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington!"

What a great campaign the folks behind Commissioner Brad Smith could run with that?

Gotta have some people thinking... and some people sweating!

At September 22, 2007 5:59 PM , Jeff said...

Rick Smith (D-Cincinnati) ran a very clever long-shot campaign against State Sen. Robert Schuler (R) last year that included "Mr. Smith Goes to Columbus" (as well as another fun slogan, "A Democrat Even Your Father Would Like").

Yes, what party is Jim Lorenzen???

At September 22, 2007 6:17 PM , Anonymous said...

Lorenzen is (R). Don't know if he's a factor, but what he does, he does well - also well connected. Looks like a free for all is developing!

At September 23, 2007 8:21 AM , The historian said...

If all of this is true, then the only name still considering it from the eastern portion that should cause any real issue is Commissioner Smith. I did some calling around Sandusky County to some contacts yesterday evening, and this fellow is apparently a pretty smart, hard working elected officially who is thought pretty highly of locally. True conservative, fiscal & otherwise; great blue-coller cross-over democrat vote-getter, and actually has enough brains to do the job - and that comes from some pretty high up dems! He's been approached about running for State Rep after Wagner is term limited out, but is apparently considering a run for Common Pleas Court Judge in '08 which means this may all just be rumor?

At September 23, 2007 11:37 AM , Anonymous said...

I agree Smith is a quality elected official. He may find a tough challenge vs. Damschroder for the Ohio House seat in two years if he goes that route.

At September 23, 2007 9:48 PM , Anonymous said...

First off, Brad Smith would never run against Rex Damschroder for the House seat, or anything else.

Rex gave Smith his start in politics, his wife worked for Rex for 15 years, Smith basically got Rex elected to the House in '94 when he finally beat Dwight Wise, and they are still associated together in numerous business ventures.

Second, if Smith is seriously considering a run for Congress, he should consider that his run will only hurt Latta and potentially put Buehrer in the seat, which may not be well received on the eastern end by some of Smith's current supporters, while being considered a great idea by others?

He has the very real possibility of stealing a sizable chunk of votes from this end and actually affecting the race. Interestingly enough, very similar to what his mentor, Rex Damschroder did to Paul Gillmor in the '88 race, taking votes from Gillmor & almost handing the seat to who else? Bobby Latta! Just in reverse this time. (With the votes Damschroder took from Gillmor, Latta ended up only losing by 27 votes!)

So very interesting to speculate about, but has anybody actually heard anything from any of the actual players?

At September 23, 2007 9:51 PM , Anonymous said...

Brad has no intentions of running for the Ohio House at this point in time. I look for him to run for Congress or a judicial post; I really hope he considers the former! He'd be an awesome congressman.

At September 23, 2007 9:54 PM , Anonymous said...

"Second, if Smith is seriously considering a run for Congress, he should consider that his run will only hurt Latta and potentially put Buehrer in the seat"

I think he has considered this. All the more reason to run. I know of at least two county chairs east of Wood County that are supporting Buehrer and I suspect there are others.

At September 23, 2007 11:27 PM , Anonymous said...

Smith just might win the race for Congress. And, even if he doesn't, if he runs a positive race and impresses people, he only helps himself if he has other offices on his mind. This is one of the few times when he doesn't have to worry about giving up a seat or getting into a year-long campaign -- six quick, exciting weeks.

At September 24, 2007 1:29 AM , NW Rep Chair said...

What a buzz this all has going around NW Ohio! Someone pointed me towards this blog and I'm certainly glad I found it. The info here matches what I've been told verbally by several folks.

From our county's perspective, we simply want a true conservative to represent us. It appears that Buehrer is more of a traditional conservative, and Latta is more of a modern moderate?

I too made some calls about this Smith guy that is apparently being recruited, to check on his pedigree. From several respected attorneys in that county I was told that he is a legitimate political force locally. OSU grad. US Army vet. They mentioned he has helped numerous other officials win their seats, from Damschroder to Wagner, and lots of city & county seats, selectively knocking off some incumbants along the way. All apparently with a sharp wit, a sharp tongue, and a dangerous smile. Classic picture-postcard political family, wife, little kids and the like.

It seems to come down to whether those of us who want an actual conservative voice for us in DC should be working to help Buehrer, working to stop Latta, or working to draft Smith or an equivalent?

Also, those of us on the Republican side should be a little worried who the Dems put up, as this Mike grandillo from Tiffin is being touted as much more credible than Robin Weirauch has been in recent campaigns?

At September 24, 2007 10:22 AM , Anonymous said...

There have been rumors that a lawyer named Andrew Mayle may mount a serious campaign for the open seat. He is apparently a young attorney from Fremont. I have heard that he is a true conservative, and based upon his firm's website, he has impressive credentials. He graduated from John Carroll University and received his law degree from Notre Dame Law School. Word is that he has a number of contacts on the Eastern side of the district and could run an energetic campaign. Anyone else know anything about him?

At September 24, 2007 11:25 AM , Anonymous said...

Here is a link to Mayle's law firms website.


At September 24, 2007 11:38 AM , poli-sci 101 said...

Folks, this all comes down to straight number-crunching.

A whole bunch of names can pop in or out of this race from now until Friday, and it is still likely to come down to Buehrer or Latta.

Assuming Wagner & Overmeyer are not interested as posted on here, then the only name mentioned so far that appears potentially interested and can possibly affect the race is the Sandusky County Commissioner - Brad Smith. This is not because he has a post-card family or whatever was said above, it is because he is the only one who has any name ID, has run at least county-wide numerous times, successfully, and is a proven vote getter in an area with substantial votes. At least substantial enough to affect the outcome.

The other names mentioned may all be great folks who could do the job, but it's just number crunching, and their numbers don't crunch!

At September 24, 2007 12:09 PM , Anonymous said...

Poli-sci 101 may have a point, but considering the anticipated low voter turnout, a person who can rally a large number of dedicated troops quickly and get people to the polls has a real chance in this thing, even without "name recognition." I think that Buehrer and Latta, while experienced politicians, are really not complex thinkers or intellectually ambitious enough to get anything done in Washington. I think that us conservatives deserve someone better, and its too bad that we are resigned to picking amongst two inferior candidates.

At September 24, 2007 12:46 PM , Reality Check! said...

So hard not to sound preachy here, but I've been following this blog with some interest and just have to speak up. Poli-Sci 101 is exactly correct, as absolutely disheartening as it may be!

Without at least 1/4 to 1/2 million dollars, it is logistically impossible to "Rally The Troops" behind someone who has no name ID in a 15 county congressional district, especially when 2 names that are well known to a good portion of the district are running. Even Damschroder's poll numbers were pretty dismal, which is likely why he's not running.

Whether you like any of these existing names: Buehrer, Latta, and ok, maybe even Smith, it is going to come down to one of them.

Which I think is why the whole DRAFT BRAD SMITH thing is catching on. He's potentially electable with good positive name ID, is a legitimate conservative, family values, catholic republican, who actually could stand up and speak without someone playing puppet-master with their hand up his keister! He is also somewhat connected to some power brokers, but still is removed enough from Columbus and definitely DC to be able to run as an outsider; an outsider who's actually put criminals in jail as a prosecutor, legislated as a city & county official, run a successful business or two, and has done a great job for 10 years as a Commissioner. That's called a real track record without all the lobbyist / pac money baggage! What a wonderful new concept!

Might as well pick the best horse and start riding it!

At September 24, 2007 9:34 PM , Anonymous said...

It is clear that there are evil forces at work trying to affect the outcome of this race!

Will be interesting to see who wins the battle of who backs who? Who works for or against who? Who plays the game better? And who drafts who into the race to alter the outcome?

I would pay to be a fly on some walls right now!

At September 25, 2007 9:58 AM , Anonymous said...

"Evil forces"? Did this become apparent to you when the Latta camp maliciously outed Commissioner Brown for even considering a run or when they struck the back room deal with Lynn Wachtmann to form the unholy alliance???

At September 25, 2007 6:25 PM , Anonymous said...

How does anyone know the "Latta camp" outed Brown or that any "deal" was struck with Wachtmann. I can't for sure refute the first one but there was NO deal on the second one.

At September 25, 2007 7:44 PM , Anonymous said...

Grandillo petitions have been circulating thru the district for the past three days

At September 25, 2007 9:36 PM , Anonymous said...


At September 26, 2007 1:09 AM , Anonymous said...

OK, to the last poster, provide us ANY evidence whatsover that a "deal" was cut between Wachtmann and Latta -- what could there possibly be between the two of them? There are plenty of people in the 5th district who know why this happened, and a "deal" has absoutely NOTHING to do with it.

At September 26, 2007 1:39 AM , deal dude said...

The deals that are being struck now are the ones trying to get either Fremont's long-term Mayor Terry Overmeyer in the race to draw votes from Latta to help Buehrer, or to keep up-n-comer Sandusky County Commissioner Brad Smith out of the race in order to help Latta by not siphoning off votes from Bob. It's been pretty well known that 3rd-term State Representative Jeff Wagner has decided not to run.

At September 26, 2007 8:37 AM , Anonymous said...

To Deal Dude: I don't doubt your report -- makes sense. But to the other blogger who thinks he knows about Latta-Wachtmann deals, he's just plain wrong and is only trying to play the "blog game" without really knowing much.

At September 26, 2007 9:50 AM , Anonymous said...

Deal dude is WRONG. Mayor Overmyer and Commissioner Smith are NOT getting in the race, and this is a decision they made on their own. To date, my contact in their county told me that neither official was contacted by Bob Latta or Steve Buehrer. However, you are going to sit here and tell me that Bob Latta and Lynn Wachtmann have not talked? That there wasn't a conversation between these two guys before Wachtmann had his press conference? The deal is Lynn Wachtmann knew he couldn't win the 5th District, he felt he was personally threatened by Steve Buehrer, and as a big "FU" to Steve he endorsed Latta. In doing so he also feels that he will have favor with the next congressman; who Lynn obviously assumes is going to be Latta. That's the deal. Even though Lynn and Steve are more (than Latta) ideologically/politically aligned and Lynn has been openly critical of Latta in the past, he (Lynn) comes out and endorses Latta anyway; it doesn't take a political scientist to figure this one out. Sometimes "deals" don't involve the promise of material, position, etc.; it just requires premeditation, conference and an understanding of mutual benefit. I would say the Wachtmann/Latta deal meets these criteria.

At September 26, 2007 10:36 AM , Anonymous said...

Oh, BTW, period.

At September 26, 2007 6:53 PM , Deal Dude said...

OK Folks. I did what anyone else could have done, but apparently has not. I called and spoke with Commissioner Brad Smith this evening and simply introduced myself and asked him if he was in fact considering a run for the 5th District Congressional seat? His very polite and simple answer was, "I have been asked by some supporters to consider it for a variety of reasons, and yes, I am still open to the possibility."

He would not elaborate much further, but was very approachable.

I reached him at his county phone number I found on the internet: 419-333-6903

If I hadn't reached him there, I was going to simply e-mail him at the address on their web-site:

Putting this info here in case anyone would like to verify what I am stating! This would be better than the guess-work that's been appearing here lately...

I also asked him if he had been contacted directly by either Latta or Buehrer, and he said no, but he would be open to talking to either one of them.

Am going to try the same approach with some of the others mentioned on here and update things as I reach them.

At September 27, 2007 10:15 AM , Anonymous said...

Buehrer campaign may be going overboard on the chicken pox vaccination issue -- lots of very solid pro-life Republicans voted same as Latta on that bill.

At September 27, 2007 8:44 PM , Anonymous said...

Did some checking in Seneca, Sandusky & Huron Counties today and tonight, and it looks like so far this blog has been pretty accurate.

Rex Damschroder - Not Running
Jeff Wagner - Not Running
Brad Smith - Has Petitions, still meeting with supporters & will decide tomorrow, guessing a yes?
Terry Overmyer - Not Running
Mike Grandillo - Not Running


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