County Council District 1 consists of the cities of Olmsted Township, North Olmsted, Fairview Park, Westlake, Bay Village, and Rocky River. This district may offer one of the best chances for a republican to gain a seat on the council. According to the Board of Elections web site, 6 candidates have pulled petitions to run for this office. Three are democrats and three are republicans.
The democrats are Nicole Dailey Jones, Thomas Pete Matia, and Maureen M. Sweeney. The republicans are Paul J. Daley, Ryan T. McGilvray, and Timothy M. Sullivan. If the candidate list remains this way, one member from each party will go head to head in the general election to see who wins the seat. So far there have not been any independent candidates to file for this seat.
Of the six candidates, only two are currently serving on local city councils. Thomas Matia is the Ward 5 councilman from Fairview Park. Nicole Dailey Jones is the Ward 3 councilwoman from North Olmsted. Republicans hold the mayor’s office in the cities of Bay Village, Westlake and Rocky River. Mayor Debbie Sutherland had to battle for the 2009 mayoral race but still prevailed in the end. Mayor Sutherland went head to head with Peter Lawson Jones in 2008 in the race to be Cuyahoga County Commissioner. In the end it worked out…Debbie still has a job, and Lawson-Jones will no longer have one next year. The GOP also has Nan Baker as a State Representative for this area’s Ohio House District.
Going back to the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama edged John McCain in this county district by a vote tally of 38450-36410. Not too shabby for republican to get this close in a county where Walter Mondale defeated Ronald Reagan in 1984. The point is that in 2008 Barack Obama was a vastly more popular candidate than John McCain. In this county district John McCain kept it close by winning Westlake and Bay Village. McCain took beatings in Fairview and North Olmstead losing by as many as 1600 votes.
The outlook for this district to go to the GOP will depend on a couple of factors. 1) Will the voters who cast a ballot for Obama be fed up enough at a local level to select a republican candidate for the district? 2) Can a republican candidate knock off a democratic contender that already has experience winning an office (most notably Thomas Matia and Nicole Jones). Matia and Jones both already hold an office on their own local city councils. This should mean that they have a good grass roots group of volunteers.
Maureen Sweeney I am sure has some backing as well based on her last name being one of the most famous political last names in Cleveland history. Maureen ran for the Rocky River Clerk of Municipal Court in 2007. The republican nominee will have their work cut out for them. County District 1 offers the GOP one of the best chances to grab a seat on this council. The question is can the GOP grab the seat and hold it tight??
More to come...