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YOUNGSTOWN Reardon has eye on state post



Published: Tue, January 15, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



State Democratic officials will give the potential state treasurer candidate a fund-raising plan this week.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Mahoning County Treasurer John Reardon's decision on running for state treasurer comes down to money.

Reardon met this weekend with Ohio Democratic Party leaders in Columbus to discuss a potential run.

"In a nutshell, we discussed the financing of the campaign," Reardon said today. "We all agreed it's realistically a $2 million campaign. I'm committed to raising money, but I don't think I could come up with that amount of money by myself."

Reardon, county treasurer since 1998, said he asked state Democratic Chairman David Leland and Bill DeMora, the party's political director, to come up with a fund-raising plan for his campaign. Reardon, 44, expects to hear from them this week.

"I'd like to see their plan for helping me fund the campaign before making a decision," he said. "I'm not leaning one way or the other."

Reardon said "if I work real hard statewide I could raise $750,000 for a campaign," the amount failed 1998 Democratic treasurer candidate John A. Donofrio raised by himself. But it would be up to the state party to obtain the rest of the needed $2 million, he said.

"The bottom line is I need their help raising the money," Reardon said. "They've got seven statewide races to run this year. I need some assurance that this race will be a focal point. I was told this is a race they believe they can win and that it would be a focal point."

Reardon said party officials say they have one or two other potential candidates, but that he is their top choice for the post as of now.

Uphill battle: Reardon said he realizes it will be an uphill battle to defeat Ohio Treasurer Joseph T. Deters, a Republican who is seeking re-election.

Also, the seven seats up for election in November -- two Ohio Supreme Court positions, governor, secretary of state, auditor, attorney general and treasurer -- are currently held by Republicans. The filing deadline is Feb. 21.

"I'm not getting in this race to lose close," Reardon said. "I'm not interested in positioning myself for four years from now."

skolnick@vindy.com




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