City/county confusion: Though Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel campaigned in the Mahoning Valley last year during his failed campaign for U.S. Senate, his office seems to be confused as to where we are. An email informing the media about the Republican’s Thursday visit to the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber states he was “to meet with businesses from the Warren County area.” I understand how the error was made, but his office was off by 250 miles.
Democratic Party dinner: The Mahoning County Democratic Party is having a $10-a-ticket spaghetti dinner fundraiser from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Saxon Club, 710 S. Meridian Road in Austintown.
GOP open house: The Ohio Black Republicans Association will have an open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Mahoning County Republican Party headquarters, 621 Boardman-Canfield Road in Boardman.
Young conservatives: The Teenage Conservatives of Mahoning, Columbiana and Trumbull Counties are meeting at Mahoning County Republican Party headquarters at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Dr. Mike Levy, a heart surgeon/vein specialist, will speak on medical legislation and Obamacare.
The Ohio Democratic Party will highlight its likely 2014 statewide ticket at its annual dinner tonight in Columbus.
None has officially announced. But the party’s statewide ticket, with about 11 months before the filing date, looks like this:
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald for governor.
Former Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper, who lost the 2010 race for state auditor, for attorney general.
State Sen. Nina Turner of Cleveland for secretary of state.
State Rep. John Carney of Columbus for auditor.
State Rep. Connie Pillich of Montgomery (near Cincinnati) for treasurer.
They have little to no name recognition statewide, which makes it more important for them to stop playing around with being potential candidates and declaring they are seeking specific offices.
Most are traveling around the state speaking to key donors, local Democratic leaders and members of the media to make important financial and political connections because they face huge challenges in knocking off the Republican incumbents.
In comparison to the 2010 ticket that featured two elected incumbents at the top — Gov. Ted Strickland and Attorney General Richard Cordray — only Pepper has run statewide among the potential 2014 candidates.
And even with three incumbents — Kevin Boyce was appointed treasurer by Strickland to fill a vacancy — the Democrats lost all five executive-branch statewide races in 2010 as well as the U.S. Senate race.
President Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown showed last year that Democrats can win in Ohio if the right candidates are running strong campaigns that are well-funded.
The dinner is shaping up to be a Democratic coronation of FitzGerald as the party’s gubernatorial candidate. FitzGerald is the last person to speak, right after U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, who’s considered running for governor in 2014.
If Ryan hasn’t already announced that he won’t seek the seat, expect him to do it then and give a rousing introduction of FitzGerald. FitzGerald will need the congressman’s help in the Mahoning Valley if he has any chance of beating Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, next year.
Cordray, who isn’t a party favorite because one of his longtime closest advisers unsuccessfully tried to defeat Chris Redfern for Democratic chairman last year, and ex-U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton are mulling potential gubernatorial bids.
But the party leadership’s preferred choice is obviously FitzGerald.
FitzGerald recently created an exploratory committee for the potential run, and is taking shots at Kasich’s leadership and the decisions the governor has made in the past three-plus years.
The Ohio Republican Party is working to connect FitzGerald to the Cuyahoga County corruption scandal that led voters there to change laws to create an executive position and then elect FitzGerald to that post.
I doubt it will work as the main federal prosecutor in that probe said in January that FitzGerald was not being investigated; a highly unusual step.