Published May 7, 2006
State Sen. Charlie Wilson's impressive write-in victory in Tuesday's primary for the Democratic nomination for the 6thCongressional District is a clear indication that the national Democratic Party passed the test of its effectiveness with flying colors. Wilson's win also means that the national Republican Party failed miserably the test of its ability to influence the outcome of the Democratic primary.
In Trumbull County, Niles Councilman Frank Fuda's success in the crowded race for the Democratic nomination for county commissioner can be chalked up, in part, to his 18-month campaign and, in part, to the strength of the Democratic leadership and the labor unions. Fuda was endorsed by the party and was strongly supported by the unions. They were put to the test and passed.
Likewise, the Mahoning County Democratic Party was tested in the contest for the nomination for commissioner that featured incumbent David Ludt and former Youngstown Mayor George M. McKelvey, who is Public Enemy No. 1 as far as the party leadership is concerned.
McKelvey's support of President Bush in 2004 made his defeat Tuesday a political imperative. Ludt and the party faithful passed the test with straight As.
Days before the primary, it was suggested in this blog that the word "test" would define the election because of the circumstances surrouding various races. It was more than just about winning and losing. That's because of the implications for the November general election especially with regard to the state Democratic and Republican parties.
By any measure, Democrats in Ohio emerged from the primary with greater political momentum than the Republicans, which sets the stage for a possible end to GOP domination of state government.
State Sen. Marc Dann of Liberty was put to the test by Sudodh Chandra of Cleveland, a former federal prosecutor and former Cleveland law director, and passed impressively. Dann's candidacy was also a test of the state government corruption issue that rode relentlessly and the result was clear: A lot of Ohioans are tired of the pay-to-play culture that now exists in Columbus.