It is what it says it is.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Lorain vs. Summit

While including parts of four counties, the major regional dynamic at play in the 13th District is the relationship/rivalry between Summit and Lorain Counties. Rep. Sherrod Brown is from Lorain, and at some level, that has bothered some of the Dems of Summit County, who would prefer one of their own. The perception exists in both counties that politicians from one county will overlook the needs of the other to provide pork to their home bailiwick.

In an article in the Lorain Morning Journal about Cafaro's entrance into the race, Lorain County commissioner Ted Kalo touches on this perception while discussing his apparent disinclination to run.

From the LMJ:

Ted Kalo, Lorain County commissioner, expressed interest in the race shortly after Sherrod Brown announced his run for the senate but said yesterday he is ''leaning toward'' not running.

''I haven't made a commitment to run yet,'' said Kalo. ''It's a matter of raising the money. The other people in the race have a lot of money. I'm not sure a Lorain County candidate can compete with that.''

However, Kalo said he hopes a candidate from Lorain County will run.''Lorain County has lost many manufacturers,'' he said. ''We have growth in the eastern suburbs, but many cities are deteriorating. If we had a Lorain County representative in Congress, we could do a better job of bringing the bacon home.'' (Emphasis Added)

This Summit/Lorain rivalry could play a significant role in the primary. Sutton and Sawyer are both Summit County political figures (although Sutton now lives in Geauga County, in LaTourette's district, her time as an officeholder was spent representing areas in Summit). John Wolfe is also from Summit County (and an actual resident of the 13th, which Sawyer and Sutton cannot claim). Cafaro has moved to Sheffield in Lorain County, but we don't think that's what Ted Kalo had in mind, necessarily. Jack Schira lives in Medina County, which has the smallest percentage of the district's voters.

If a candidate can come out of Summit with 40 to 50 percent of the vote without getting run over in Lorain, it's probably ballgame. However, given the presence of multiple strong candidates, it seems highly unlikely. We are curious to see how each campaign uses its regional base and if any candidate can sweep a given county. If Lorain is hell-bent on not having a Summit candidate, and Summit hell-bent on not having a Lorain candidate, this could be a very interesting race. Of course, if the two big counties get carved up, Cuyahoga and Medina just increase in importance, and this becomes even more unpredictable. Sheesh.

The Ohio 13 Blog editors

We can be reached at ohio13 at gmail dot com


Blogger Working Man said...

It is likely that Cafaro moved to the upscale Northern tip of Lorain County to attract the less upscale Lorain City and Elyria vote. So far, the media seem to be impressed by the Million Five that Cafaro is likely to spend, but I think the hardworking men and women of the area may resent the rent-a-house in the rent-a -district approach that Cafaro represents. The people that are still making a living in this area are a tough lot with deep roots, or they wouldn’t still be there, and they’re very likely to be suspicious of someone who moves around looking for a job that they don’t even need. I'll be at Jack Schira's announcement speech at Cool Beans in Medina tomorrow night to listen to a candidate that lives right smack dab in the middle of the district talk about how he will represent Lorain, Elyria and Akron when he’s elected. See you there!

4:14 PM

Blogger Ohio 2nd said...

Very interesting post. This is good stuff.

7:08 AM

Blogger John Ryan said...

I just hope that everyone in the blogging community -- and others who care about grassroot's efforts -- will try to maximize the educated vote in the primary election instead of the 60-second commercials. We have some good candidates in this race and, while I think former State Representative Betty Sutton is especially impressive, people should look at the candidates' background, past accomplishments and skills before voting.

John Ryan, Cleveland AFL-CIO

8:10 AM

Blogger wpblogger said...

I too believe that there is a strong pool of candidates in this primary. Each one brings something to the table that the other does not. While I think Betty Sutton is the insiders front runnner, as well as mine, I am curious how money, time, and hustle will play to the general democratic voting public down the road. No matter what, May will be interesting. It feels good to be a Democrat during these times.

9:34 PM

Blogger 54cermak said...

I think Summit residents are bitter at being the 6th largest county in the state and having no real representation in congress. Sherrod's done an admirable job connecting himself to Akron, but Sutton and the other Summit candidates are going to have campaign heavy in Lorain, since the dynamics of the district favor that region.

8:43 AM


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