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Who will FitzGerald pick?

Published: Fri, January 10, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

By David Skolnick (Contact)

On the side

Sprechen Sie Deutsch: Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras spent the past week with his wife and their son in Luneberg, Germany, where his son is planning to study.

Even overseas, Betras’ hands are permanently attached to his cell phone as he spent a decent chunk of time there tweeting with me and Mark Sweetwood, The Vindicator’s managing editor. We would make fun of Betras and he would attempt to respond using a language he accidently invented — or maybe it was done on purpose — that I affectionately call “Betrasese.”

He also mixed in some German through the use of a German-to-English online translator. Some of those tweets made as much sense as the ones he sent in “English.”

At times it sounded like Betras was having fun and at other times he attempted to respond to our good-natured jabs with what I think was humor. If nothing else, Betras is bringing me a “cheap” gift from Germany.

When Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald selected state Sen. Eric Kearney as his lieutenant governor running mate, one of his attributes touted by party officials was he bringing geographic balance to the ticket.

FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive, is obviously from Northeast Ohio while Kearney is from Southwest Ohio.

That supposed balance might look good on paper and Ohio political history experts can probably point to gubernatorial races in which they can contend it made a difference.

To me, it is highly overrated.

As FitzGerald’s campaign continues to look for a replacement for Kearney — who withdrew Dec. 10 after pressure mounted over about $825,000 in unpaid taxes owed by him, his wife and businesses — the gubernatorial candidate isn’t ruling out a running mate from the northeast.

Former U.S. Rep. John Boccieri, originally from Mahoning County and currently living in Alliance, confirmed he met right after Christmas with FitzGerald and his campaign to discuss the possibility of running for lieutenant governor.

“They were gauging my interest,” Boccieri said. “They were interested, but I can’t run as lieutenant governor because of my family and military commitments.”

Boccieri has five children, ages 3 to 13, and commands the 773rd Airlift Squadron at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna. Boccieri, an Air Force Reserve lieutenant colonel and pilot, was overseas from August to December.

Boccieri, a former congressman, Ohio House member and state senator, said he was impressed with FitzGerald, calling him “a very bright, intelligent candidate. He’s very steady, even-handed with policy decisions.”

Boccieri, who supports FitzGerald’s candidacy for governor, said it isn’t important for a lieutenant governor running mate to be from a particular area.

When Kearney left the ticket, the two most prominent names under consideration to replace him were Ohio House Minority Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard of Columbus, and Columbus City Councilman Zach Klein. While not in the southwest part of the state, a candidate from Columbus in the central part of Ohio again brings that supposed geographic balance.

Also, on Dec. 11, the day after Kearney withdrew, FitzGerald told me that he’d have a new running mate around the beginning of January. The decision should be announced shortly though no one has been offered the spot.

As for Boccieri, he sold his house in Alliance and is renting there until the school year ends. He plans to return to the Mahoning Valley at that time.

“I definitely am going to run again” for elected office, he said. “It’s got to be the right fit.”

Boccieri reiterated his interest in running for Congress, but added, “I’m not opposed to something local.” When asked if that meant something like county commissioner, Boccieri said, “I haven’t thought about it” specifically.

Boccieri, 44, was first elected to the Ohio House in 2000, won a state Senate race in 2006, was elected to Congress in 2008 and was defeated two years later by Republican Jim Renacci.


1author50(1121 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

State Rep when Gerberry gets term limited out would be my guess.

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2Roger_Thornhill(1063 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Boccieri reiterated his interest in running for Congress, but added, “I’m not opposed to something local.”

Well, thank so sooooooooooooooo much for gracing us with you.

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3TERRAPINST(320 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

JOE DICKSPACK, wrong about my identity and a racist bigot. Keep on packing those bad boys Joe!!!! Pretty sure you can access the internet in Germany JOEDICKSPACK. Where u like to pack em' the most Joe?

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4TERRAPINST(320 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Hey JOEDICKSPACKER, where was it that you were told by Betras that he was TERRAPINST, please post your lie-Im begging you, begging...

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5TERRAPINST(320 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Hey packer at least you refrained from being racist this time. The reason why Im asking is I am begging you to publish your lie begging. You cant name when and where because it never happened because you sir are pathological in your dishonesty you know it

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6TERRAPINST(320 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Hey Packer why don't you run for Chair? Where was I that I told you I am Betras? I asked 1st

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7TERRAPINST(320 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

let me think Rick, where have Valleypolitics and Flick gone?

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8TERRAPINST(320 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

IF Dave Betras told you that at Alberini's he lied and that's bizarre because all I mainly do on this site is bolster Republican issues-so your a liar or he's out of his mind. Hanni couldn't win a student council election. Is he a Republican or Democrat this week? Engler is the skeleton master really unelectable BUT I hope whoever you feel is good for your party loses because I want the Republican party to begin making in roads with the old-school, corrupt, union obsessed Democrat machine that has laid waste to our community. Anyone who continues to vote for a broken, damaging group of selfies is an idiot. Great respectable names like Hanni,Trafficant, Philomena, Polivischak, Emrich, Bailey, Fergus, Kerrigan, Cronin, Lisa I mean how could a person with a brain in their head vote for that ticket?

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9TERRAPINST(320 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Berger meister
in the house

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10Askmeificare(1170 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago


Now if you'll excuse me, enough rehearsal. I am ready to go and shout it from the mountains.

Over the hills and everywhere.

I will go shout it from the mountains....

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