As of the 4:00PM deadline, two Democratic challengers had filed nominating petitions in Ohio General Assembly Senate District 2.
Jeff had previously mentioned teacher and school board member Sylvia Washburn (D-Maumee) who was recruited by Democratic Senate caucus leader Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) after her previous choice, Sandusky attorney Daniel McGookey decided against running. Wood County Democratic Party activist Justin Zollars had considered entering this race. The good news is that Justin is working on the campaign of Gordon Heminger (D-Bowling Green) for County Clerk of Courts, (who also had decided against running for this seat.)
Today, according to the Wood County Board of Elections, Darwitt R. Garrett of Sandusky has also filed for this race. Mr. Garrett is a precinct committee representative of the Erie County Democratic Party, of which Mr. McGookey is vice -chair.
At the present time, Democrats control 12 out of 33 Senate seats in the General Assembly, as compared with 46 out of 99 members in the Ohio House.
I've written about The White House Project for over a year now. It's a group that:
aims to advance women’s leadership in all communities and sectors, up to the U.S. presidency. By filling the leadership pipeline with a richly diverse, critical mass of women, we make American institutions, businesses and government truly representative. Through multi-platform programs, The White House Project creates a culture where America’s most valuable untapped resource—women—can succeed in all realms.
And now its signature training program, Go Run, is coming to Ohio.
What Go Run is:
Go Run is a weekend long training dedicated to equipping you, the future candidate, with the skills to run and win. The training aims to demystify the political process and inspire a richly diverse group of women in to the leadership pipeline. Go Run provides the nuts and bolts of running for political office by focusing on areas like communications, fundraising, and campaigning - skills you can use in your work and in your community up to the day you decide to run!
When: The weekend of June 6-8, 2008
Where: The Riffe Center and the Hyatt in Columbus
Link to application is here.
Have questions? E-mail me, leave a comment or contact Faith Winter at email@example.com or call 303-871-6779.
But most importantly, if you're a woman, think about applying yourself, or asking or convincing other women to apply.
Enormous props to the group of Ohio women and White House Project folks whom I've gotten to know over the last few months in the effort to get this training here.
My initial reaction to this is very negative. The Enquirer reports that the county parties have made an agreement to give various county office candidates a free pass. Short version, former congressional and city council candidate Greg Harris (D) will not oppose Clerk of Courts Greg Hartmann (R) in his bid for county commissioner; County Commissioner Todd Portune (D) won't face an endorsed opponent (it would have been Green Township Trustee Tracy Winkler (R)), although he still faces unendorsed opponent Ed Rothenberg (R); and prosecutor Joe Deters (R) and ten Common Pleas Judges will also get a free pass.
This kind of deal-making is part of the asserted basis for the bid by State Sen. Kevin Coughlin (R-Cuyahoga Falls) to unseat Summit County GOP boss Alex Arshinkoff. I'm not very comfortable about aligning myself with Coughlin, and one can recite economies and efficiencies that could be gained by such arrangements, but frankly it strikes me as a dangerous abuse of power. The point of democratic government is for voters to have the opportunity to decide who represents them, and such incursions into that right should ring lots of alarm bells. It's true that individuals can step outside the party system and run as independents, but as a practical matter political parties have a lot of clout - in many cases they can effectively stifle electoral challenges. Let's hope they are not doing too much damage to democracy ideals in this instance. That depends, I suppose, on whether the deal prevents close races that otherwise would have occurred, which is hard to assess.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that school board member and ardent school levy opponent Arnie Engel of Fairfield has filed nominating petitions to run for the 54th Ohio House District seat of State Rep. Eric Combs (R-Fairfield) as a Democrat. However, he will not be seeking the endorsement of the Demcratic Party, because he has disagreed in the past with party leaders about school tax levies. Engel says that "schools will be my No. 1 issue."
Combs' 2006 opponent Ken Keith (D-Hamilton) is also going to run.
Last night Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said it would be just fine with him if the U.S. keeps troops in Iraq for another 100 years:
Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Bainbridge Twp) has endorsed McCain for president. Is LaTourette on board with McCain's century-long military presence in Iraq position? I'm just wondering. Because I'm pretty sure that Bill O'Neill (D-South Russell) wants us to get our troops out. Like the two-thirds of voters who want us out within a year.
PS: I believe that this is the first time that I have had occasion to write about Rep. LaTourette since he complained to the Plain Dealer about my participation in the group blog "Wide Open," resulting in my termination. If he wants to complain to my boss again ... well, that would be me. He can call any time. And then maybe he can tell me his position on U.S. troops still being in Iraq when the two of us are both long dead.
The path of anointed successor State Sen. Steve Austria (R-Beavercreek) to succeed his mentor, retiring Rep. Dave Hobson (R-Springfield), just got a LOT rockier, with former state representative Ron Hood (R-Asheville) announcing last night that he is running. Hood's entry brings to four the number of confirmed GOP candidates, the others being attorney and county GOP chair Dan Harkins (R-Springfield) and retired USAF pilot John Mitchel (R-Beavercreek).
The story in today's Dayton Business Journal makes it clear that Hood will run an agressive primary challenge from the right:
"I'm running for Congress because I believe we need to restore the core conservative values of the Republican Party to our state and our country," Hood said in the announcement. "I have always defended life, traditional marriage and the Constitution -- including the Second Amendment." ...
Until mid-October, Hood worked for the National Right To Work Committee, a nonprofit that "combats compulsory unionism" and enlists public support for Right to Work legislation, according to its mission statement.
Ohio Sen. John Carey, R-Wellston, who has endorsed Austria for the U.S. Congress, said Hood is known for running an extremely aggressive campaign, with strong grassroots support from the National Right To Work Committee.
ODP Chair Chris Redfern (D-Catawba Island) has indicated that the 20th Ohio Senate District represents one of the Democrats' best pickup opportunities in that chamber, with bankruptcy-plagued incumbent State Sen. Joy Padgett (R-Coshocton) retiring and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) and Gov. Ted Strickland (D) having done well here in 2006. State Rep. Jimmy Stewart (R-Athens) is the GOP candidate, but nobody has yet filed on the Democratic side.
Today, with the 4:00 p.m. filing deadline fast approaching, the suspense is whether it will be Morgan County Commissioner Rick Shriver (D) or 2004 congressional primary contender Paul E. Richards (D-Glouster), or perhaps both. The two have been circulating nominating petitions.
Jim Phillips reports in the Athens News today that Shriver has been heavily recruited by party leaders in Columbus and Washington, including Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover) and Gov. Strickland (D). Shriver is president of the county commission and teaches communications at Ohio University in Zanesville. He is also a former Fulbright fellow.
Richards is a union carpenter who won over 22,000 votes in 2004 in the 18th Congressional District, losing the primary to Brian Thomas. He told Phillips that he might not stay in the race if there is to be a primary.
New front-runner Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) isn't the only one to make a great speech last night. The nine minute farewell address by Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) really was one of the classiest I have ever heard. Poised, sincere, grateful, but proud and inspiring at the same time - truly worth watching. As Biden said, it was a great night to be a Democrat:
According to Politics Extra, Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) has drawn a third primary opponent in Nathan W. Bailey (R), but Google searching reveals nothing about him -- can any readers help?
Late breaking developments on filing day:
OH House-41: Cole (R) to Oppose Williams (D) - Randy Cole (R-West Akron), who ran unsuccessfully for county council in 2004 and for city council in 2007, will run against State Rep. Brian Williams (D-Akron). President of web site developer GovTech Solutions, Cole said that his "relationships with government, business and community leaders" and his prior experience as an administrator for two county engineers and as a legislative aide and budget analyst in the Ohio General Assembly make him "uniquely qualified to address the important issues" in the district.
OH House-50: Hagan (R) to Run for County Office - Term-limited incumbent John Hagan (R-Marlboro Twp) will run for Stark County Commissioner, while his daughter Cristina runs for his former House seat. She will face a primary challenge from attorney Todd Snitchler (R-Lake Township) and perhaps Lee Strad (R-Pike Township). ODP Chair Chris Redfern (D-Catawba Island) regards this as a top pickup opportunity because the Republican lean of the district is modest (PVI R+3.7) and Strickland and Brown did well here in 2006. The names I've read about on the Democratic side are Adam E. Artimez (D-Lake Township) and Martin Olson (D-Lake Township).
OH-House 54: Keith (D) to Oppose Combs (R) - Ken Keith (D-Hamilton) will run against State Rep. Courtney Combs (R-Fairfield) again, having done well in 2006 by winning 42.84% of the vote in this heavily Republican district (PVI R+12.3).
OH House-55: Klimek (D) Will Run - Political newcomer Anthony Klimek (D) will oppose State Rep. Coley (R-Middletown) in this Republican stronghold (PVI R+16.8).
OH House-63: Nagy (D) Out? - It appears that former legislative aide Doug Nagy (D-Mentor) may have decided not to file, clearing the Democratic field for assistant prosecutor Mark Schneider (D). First-term State Rep. Carol-Ann Schindel (R-Leroy Twp) is apparently unopposed on the GOP side. H/t/ BSB.
OH House-65: Harwood (D) Faces Two Primary Challengers - According to a story today in the Tribune Chroncle, personal injury attorney Mike Harshman (D), well-known locally from his TV commercials, has joined pilot and air reservist John D. Williams (D-Liberty Twp) as challengers to three-term incumbent Sandra Stabile Harwood (D-Niles). Harshman, who is reportedly a close friend and campaign fund-raiser for Attorney General Marc Dann (D-Liberty Twp), had previously expressed interest in the seat when Harwood was mentioned for a judicial post. The GOP candidate is Lyle Waddell (R-Newton Falls).
OH Sen-4: Two Democrats to Oppose Cates (R) - Retired businesswoman Kathryn Bridgman (D-West Chester) has filed to run against incumbent State Sen. Gary Cates (R-West Chester), and Victor Rivera (D-Fairield) is expected to file as well. 4th District is in Butler County in southeast Ohio and includes the 53rd, 54th, and 55th Ohio House Districts, all Republican-held. It leans strongly Republican (PVI R+13).
OH Sen-12: Kaffenberger (I) Will Run - Jack Kaffenberger (I-Rossberg), who ran unsuccessfully against Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) in this district in 2000, has filed to run against State Sen. Keith Faber (R-Celina).
Mark Naymik posted an eye-popping item on the Openers blog last night about fund-raising in the 10th Ohio Congressional District. He reports that city council member Joe Cimperman (D-Cleveland) has raised $226,000 in just about one month, and Rosemary Palmer (D-Cleveland) has raised about $130,000 since she started campaigning last summer. The other challengers are not quite so flush -- Barbara Anne Ferris (D-Cleveland) has raised about $35,000 and Mayor Tom O'Grady (D-North Olmsted) about $30,000.
That's a total of about $421,000 amassed against Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland), who does not appear to have given his congressional re-election campaign much thought at all. However, Naymik reports that he plans to have a campaign kickoff event at the North Shore AFL/CIO headquarters on Wednesday.
It's a massacre for the second tier. Suddenly we have only the top three plus Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich, and Mike Gravel.
Richardson only got 2%, but he did place fourth. From an email message to supporters:
"We made it to the final four," Richardson said. "My staff and volunteers worked their hearts out to get us here. Now we are going to take the fight to New Hampshire."
Turnout among Democrats overall was huge, turnout among young voters was huge, and the message of the evening is the voters overwhelmingly want change.
Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) just amplified his dramatic victory in the Iowa caucuses by giving a soaring, inspiring victory speech reminiscent of his 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote address. Calling for a "coalition for change" and telling Iowa voters that they had sent a message for change and unity, Obama established a visceral connection with his audience and created a powerful sense of history in the making. With the momentum and confidence of this early victory at his back, we may be seeing Obama emerge as the kind of transformational, post-partisan candidate for which many had been hoping:
Board of Education member Sylvia Washburn (D-Maumee) was collecting signatures tonight and plans to file nominating petitions tomorrow to run for the 2nd Ohio Senate District seat of term-limited State Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green). Gardner is expected to be appointed to the vacated 6th Ohio House District seat of Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green), with well-funded State Rep. Mark Wagoner (R-Ottawa Hills) replacing Gardner as state senator.
Today's game of musical chairs among GOP candidates for Hamilton County offices has apparently converted the 28th Ohio House District into an open seat race, as incumbent Rep. Jim Raussen (R-Springdale) has reportedly pulled petitions to run for Hamilton County Clerk of Courts.
Earlier in the day it was reported that the current clerk of courts, 2006 secretary of state candidate Greg Hartmann (R), will run for county commissioner instead of re-election, and current county commissioner Pat DeWine (R) will run for Common Pleas Judge. It was thought that former state senator Patricia Clancy (R) would run for the clerk of courts post. However, it now appears that Rep. Raussen will seek that office, and City Councilman Rick Bryan (R-Blue Ash) will run for state representative in the 28th District.
If so, this development is a huge boost for second-time candidate Connie Pillich (D-Montgomery), who gained an impressive 48% of the vote against Raussen in 2006. With the benefit of name recognition from her prior campaign and running for an open seat instead of against an incumbent, Pillich's bid in the 28th District becomes one of the very best pickup opportunities for the Democratic Party in the Ohio House of Representatives.
Three-time congressional candidate Robin Weirauch (D-Napoleon) will pass on the 2008 race against newly-elected Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green). She attended tonight's OH-05 District caucus collecting nominating signatures for Henry County Commissioner, which she will file tomorrow.
Weirauch spoke briefly to the crowd and was very well received by the Party faithful. She was positive, upbeat and optimistic. It was great to see her and her husband Bruce in such good spirits. (She's doing a LOT better than I would be!) We wish her the best in her race and will have more coverage in the days ahead.
Clinton is struggling for second, still a point behind Edwards. Whether she squeaks into second or not, the "aura of inevitability" is now officially gone. Either she produces a major comeback in the style of her husband in 1992, or we're looking at a tight three-way race going into New Hampshire and subsequent states.
UPDATE: Taegan Goddard notes that "more than half of caucus goers younger than 29 years old are backing Obama; nearly half those over 65 back Clinton." Wow. That's a huge generational divide.
The Politico says that Dodd, having failed to finish fourth, may announce tomorrow in Hartford that he is dropping out.
2nd UPDATE: EDWARDS WILL FINISH SECOND - Although Edwards and Clinton appear to be tied for second at 10:00 p.m. with 1660 of 1781 precincts reporting, most of the remaining votes are from Johnson County/Iowa City, which figure to be from younger voters and therefore not as good for Clinton as elsewhere:
Obama : 37.30%
Edwards : 29.95%
Clinton : 29.54%
Edwards will hang on for second place, just ahead of Clinton.
3rd UPDATE: FINAL TALLY - At 10:30 p.m., with almost all the precincts reporting, Obama wins by a decisive 7 1/2 point margin (buoyed by strong turnout among young voters) and Edwards edges Clinton for second at about 30% each, with Biden and Dodd failing to attain either double digits or fourth place and therefore likely out of the race:
Obama : 37.52%
Edwards : 29.88%
Clinton : 29.41%
Richardson : 2.09%
Biden : 0.94%
Uncommitted : 0.14%
Dodd : 0.02%
That's right. At the 11th Congressional District Caucus tonight, yours truly was elected as a delegate for Sen. John Edwards (D-NC).
Four men and one woman were elected. How many of us get to go will depend on what percentage of the vote Edwards wins in the Ohio primary on March 4th.
CNN is calling the GOP caucuses for Huckabee. Exit polls indicate that Romney will finish second and Thompson probably third just ahead of McCain. Paul is clobbering Giluliani.
On the Democratic side, it is too close to call, with Edwards, Obama, and Clinton all around 31% to 33% in exit polling.
Here is a link for results from the Iowa Democratic Party.
UPDATE: At 9:30 p.m., with 1369 of 1781 precincts reporting, the Democratic candidates are ranked as follows:
Obama : 35.87%
Edwards : 30.65%
Clinton : 30.44%
Richardson : 1.92%
Biden : 0.98%
Uncommitted : 0.10%
Dodd : 0.03%
Obama is pulling ahead. Edwards and Clinton are way to close to call. It's looking like a lethal night for the Biden and Dodd campaigns.
Three weeks ago Ohio Daily Blog broke the story that she was considering a run, and tomorrow morning business attorney Sharen Neuhardt (D-Yellow Springs) will make it official. From the press release:
Neuhardt [will file] nominating petitions at the Greene County Board of Elections on Friday morning after collecting more than 150 signatures from voters in the Seventh District.
“I am excited to become a candidate for Congress, and I believe that the fact that I've never run for public office before is an advantage,” Neuhardt said. “People want change and new voices to break the stalemate that exists in Washington. I have a 30 year history of working to do what's right for this region, and of working with community and business leaders to do that without regard to party affiliation.”
Neuhardt, a Democrat, said that her priorities will be working to end the war in Iraq, bringing jobs to the Seventh District, reforming our health care system, and moving the country toward energy independence. “I know how to get things done, how to build consensus, and how to do the right thing. As the representative in Congress for the Seventh District, I'll work with and for the people of the Seventh District to bring about the changes we all know are necessary to get the United States back on the right track,” Neuhardt added.
Marc Kovac reports on the excellent Capital Blog that two-time Iraq veteran Scott B. Radcliffe (R-Perrysburg) filed to run for Congress in the 5th District today:
“I am honored to be back home and able to seek public office,” said Radcliffe. “As I served in Iraq I kept the people of this great community at the forefront of my mind, and I am here today to continue that service.
“I am running for congress because I am willing to fight for the people of this district and take action when tough choices need to be made. People are tired of politics as usual, and it’s time we move in a new direction.
“Protecting our borders and growing our economy are two of the most important issues if not the most important. On these issues and the others that face our communities, I offer bold leadership and conviction. I will strive to unleash Ohio’s potential to lead the nation on alternative energies and promote business to grow the economy.”
After the bitter and costly special primary election last fall, I'm sure this isn't happy news for newly elected Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green).
That attack on "politics as usual" and call to "move in a new direction" really sounds like 2007 candidate Robin Weirauch (D-Napoleon) talking.
In this campaign video posted yesterday, Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) compares his willingness to stand up to wealthy corporations to that of trust-busting Teddy Roosevelt and social welfare champion Franklin D. Roosevelt. He also invokes the great quote from Harry Truman about how instead of "giving them hell" he simply "told the truth and it felt like hell." A strong message:
Following the lead of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland), Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) is reportedly ready to tell his supporters that they should support Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) in the event that there are fewer than 15% of attendees supporting Richardson at their given caucus location (which prevents them going with their first choice). Richardson is polling at about 5% in Iowa. With the race too close to call, second-choice voting is likely to determine the final outcome.
This development could negate any possible Bill Richardson vice presidential bid with Clinton should she prevail, but raises the prospect of an Obama/Richardson ticket. Hm-hmm.
UPDATE: More on the effect of second-choice voting from Josh Marshall here. According to the pollster Zogby, taking second-choice voting into account firms up the likelihood of an Obama-Edwards-Clinton finish.
Word just in from the campaign of Victoria Wulsin (D-Indian Hill) that she will air the following TV ad on CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC during tonight's coverage of the Iowa caucus results:
Titled "Pledge," the ad has Wulsin promising to refuse Congressional health care "until Congress does its job and passes affordable health care for all.” This pledge follows the example of Gov. Ted Strickland (D) when he was in Congress, and of Sen. Sherrod Brown (D).
In a fund-raising message accompanying the ad, Wulsin says that she has "the expertise and credibility to tackle the health care crisis." Speaking of Strickland's pledge, she says that he "took a bold stand for hard-working Americans without health care coverage. Spiraling medical expenses are hurting businesses and families. The time to ensure affordable, quality health care is long overdue.”
Interesting newsy bits on those all-important state legislative contests:
OH House-20: Garland Files - Received a tip that Nancy Garland of New Albany, Ohio has filed petitions to run against Rep. Jim McGregor (R-Gahanna). No confirmation yet, but I suspect that this may be the Nancy Garland who is CEO/Executive Director of the Ohio Physical Therapy Association, headquartered in Gahanna. No official word yet on whether financial advisor and 2006 candidate Bev Campbell (D-Gahanna) is running again.
OH House-31: Driehaus Announces - Recreation Commission President Denise Driehaus (D-Price Hill), sister of term-limited incumbent and Congressional candidate Steve Driehaus (D-Price Hill), makes it official. Scott Gehring is her GOP opponent.
OH House-62: Gutierrez to Oppose Fende - Activist Mike Gutierrez (R-Eastlake) has filed with the Secretary of State and set up a web site to run against State Rep. Lorraine Fende (D-Willowick). This district has a slight Republican lean (PVI R+3.2) and figured to be a GOP target, but it does not appear from Gutierrez' web site that he has any prior governmental experience. He writes that he is "in the Employment Industry" and has "worked with non-profit organizations" and "organized hundreds of community members on consumer and environmental issues."
OH House-73: Balcolm May Oppose Goyal - Linda Martz reports in the Mansfield News Journal today that the county GOP has recruited Jim Balcolm to face first-term State Rep. Jay Goyal (D-Mansfield) and are racing to collect petition signatures. I have searched for information on Balcom online and didn't find anything. Goyal was named the 2007 Ohio Young Democrat of the Year and was one of two members of the Ohio House of Representatives selected by a bi-partisan panel to receive a fellowship for the Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development.