Monday, November 13, 2006

Let’s talk about 2008

Let’s preface this carefully for hyper-sensitive Josh Mandel supporters who read this blog. We’re NOT saying he’s going to do this. However, Solon’s state senate seat will be up in 2008 since Bob Spada will be term-limited out. We assume that the Republicans will let Jim Trakas have the first shot at the nomination.

However, if Rep. Trakas doesn’t want it, we would assume that Josh Mandel would be the favorite for it. We certainly think he would be a stronger candidate than Tom Patton, and certainly stronger than Ed Herman. So, for the record, we’re paying a compliment to the political prowess of Josh Mandel. Okay?

We say all this to start this discussion… IF Solon’s seat in the Ohio House is open in 2008 (meaning no incumbent runs for it), who should the Democrats nominate? Assuming Roger Goudy is not interested, the early field might look something like this:

1. Case law professor and former Congressional candidate Lew Katz (D-Pepper Pike)
2. Former judicial candidate Suzanne Bretz Blum (D-Pepper Pike)
3. 2004 Democratic nominee, former Solon Democratic Club President David Pomerantz (D-Solon)
4. Jill Miller Zimon of the Writes Like She Talks blog (D-Pepper Pike?)
5. Broadview Heights City Councilman David Wondolowski (D-Broadview Heights)
6. Former Seven Hills Mayor Gerald Trafis (D-Seven Hills)

Why is this important to think about now? Well, the Democrats picked up seven seats in the House this year, and are just four from the majority. 2008 would be the year to finish the job.

As for the Senate seat... the Dems should probably nominate someone from North Royalton or Strongsville. Unless, of course, Jimmy Dimora can be talked into running (he lives in Independence now).


At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Katz even live in Pepper Pike? In the PD's election guide, he listed Chesterland as his place of residence.

At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jill would be a great choice. She's a fresh face. She's never lost an election (sorry Katz, Goudy, Pomerantz and Blum). She knows her stuff to and she's not afraid to go against the Party to stand up for her beliefs. I mean the County Dems all wanted Learn and Earn, and she did not. She actually agreed with Ken Blackwell and Ted Strickland on that issue. Plus, blogging is only going to get bigger. My second choice would be Blum, even though she lost she has proven that she can win key cities in this district like Pepper Pike. Just my 2 cents.

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Jill said...

You guys are so cute. Did April Fool's Day come early, or wait - would that be, a second time, this year?

At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blum would be a great pick...if we wanted to keep the seat in Republican hands. She only won Orange, Pepper Pike, and Woodmere. She didn't even win Oakwood, a community that Mandel got slaughtered in.

At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Solon councilman Rob Pelunis?

At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pelunis would be good. He works hard, and he's got the attitude needed to win a hard race.

Katz would be great, as he did well in an impossible race against LaTourette.

Pomerantz ran just behind Kerry's performance in the district in 2004. A similar performance in 06 would have won the seat.

Jill would be a different "out of the box" pick. The media would love it. And we need more attractive women running for office.

Blum also fits that bill. She would have done better in her race if judicial candidates had party listed on the ballot.

At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the Pelnuis pick ALOT.

Katz really didn't do that good, he only did a few percentage points better than Capri, I don't think he won Solon even. He needed to get into the 40s to be credible.

Still love the Jill pick, she has really no negatives.

The more I think about Blum the more I don't like her, she was the worst performing Dem judicial candidate and she spent alot of money.

Let's go with fresh faces (i.e. ones who haven't lost yet) Pelnuis and Jill both fill the bill.

Remember we want to win with winners!

At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think those are all good choices, but if mandel runs for re-election, i think he'll kill any of them. i think pelunis or katz would probably be the best candidates though. i thought goudy was a pretty good candidate, and mandel got 67%. unfortunately, i think this was our year to take this seat. we won't see another year this good for democrats in a long time. maybe we should concentrate more on the spada senate seat? just a thought.

At 8:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pelnuis has a record of winning tough races, he's won two, he's a fighter who can overcome the odds. Both Katz and Goudy were supposed to lose and they did. I don't want to back a candidate that the first thing people think of was "oh didn't Katz/Goudy run last year against LaTourette/Mandel and lose?" I want a proven winner (Pelunis) or an unproven surprise exciting candidate (Jill).

This is a great discussion thread on a very important topic.

At 11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abe Lincoln lost a lot of races.

The point being, sometimes a candidate needs to lose a race and get the mistakes out of their system.

Pelunis would be a good candidate, as would everyone else mentioned here.

For the Spada seat, I think it's time that Jimmy Dimora take one for the team. He should be our candidate for the State Senate.

At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Dimora running for the state senate, in the words of one great man, "No chance in hell."

At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think that pelunis is our best bet for beating mandel.

while i like jill miller zimon and her blog is very well written, i think mandel would wipe the floor with her worse than he did goudy. seriously guys, mandel would kill her.

pelunis is our best shot at the house seat. i sorta agree with one of the above posts that we may want to put our best candidate for the senate seat because it will be open.

At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, when will the first debate be held? Don't count out Wondolowski. He has won two elections by gigantic margins. In Broadview Heights!

At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pelunis basically has the same profile as Pomerantz did in '04, but with several advantages.

1. He's already an elected official. He's battle-tested and has been successful.

2. He's younger than Dave was in '04. We know that Mandel won't rest on his laurels...we need someone who can match his work ethic.

We need someone from this area to fire up the Dems and the independents. Given Pelunis's tendency to sometimes buck the party line, I think he'll have mass appeal.

At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reality check: Pelunis can barely practice law and sit on Council let alone run for a State legislature seat. Are you kidding? Mandel would trounce Pelunis. Mandel is now probably unbeatable. It could be worse, Mandel is a moderate. We could have a right-winger as our rep. In summary, wake up out there, Pelunis has no shot.

At 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wondolowski has a bright political future if he wants it. He's related to the new president of the Solon Democratic Club, so you know he's got good political genes.

At 12:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wondolowski may have a bright political future, but not against Mandel. Yesterday's Sun talked about Mandel winning Solon with a 3:2 margin and Lyndhurst with a 3:1 margin.

But the real untold story is how Mandel totally demolished Goudy in the southern part of the district, which would supposedly be Wondolowski's "base".

I have nothing against Wondolowski, but if he really has/wants a bright political future, he should run for Broadview Heights Mayor or State Senate. I think a lot of people would support him for those seats, but people aren't gonna waste their time and money trying to beat Mandel if we couldn't beat him in the worst year for Republicans in any recent history.

I say Wondolowski for State Senate!

At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pelnuis is a fighter, he was supposed to lose both of his races, but managed to pull through. That is a trait I want in my elected officials.

At 2:40 PM, Blogger Jill said...

What is FASCINATING about this thread is how all but one comment is from Anonymous.

Why I'm wading into the anonymi: That Sun article also said that the district is almost split evenly between registered Dems and Republicans, yes? So how did Trakas keep it for as long as he did? And who was the rep before him and before Spada, who'll term limit out in '08? (I've lived in the district since '99.)

At 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


1. The 17th House District as it's currently drawn, has only existed since basically '02. The districts were re-drawn prior to the '02 election, so Trakas only had two elections in those particular areas. In fact, with the way the district was redrawn, Trakas's seat was no longer as safe because it was much more Democratic than it had been, but in '02 he won with 63% of the vote. His campaign manager? None other than Josh Mandel. In '04, Mandel wasn't around and Trakas only won 53% of the vote because Pomerantz ran a very good grass-roots campaign and Trakas didn't.

2. State Senate District 24 does encompass House District 17, but it also runs through the 16th and 18th house districts. It's comparing apples and oranges.

Actually, in just about every part of Cuyahoga County, registered Dems outnumber registed R's. Last time I saw the breakdown, there were only two communities where registered R's outnumber registered Dems- Hunting Valley and Gates Mills. Independents, however, outnumber anyone else many times over, which is why grassroots campaigning is so important.

At 11:05 AM, Blogger Jill said...

Thank you! That is really helpful, and interesting.

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't think people understand how winnable the state senate seat is. especially with it being open in a presidential year, we can really pick it up.

my concern is that we put some resources up against mandel and some into the state senate and end up losing both.

i think we need to really focus on that open state senate seat. we can win it. just a thought.

At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

jill, you should also understand that in 2011 the districts are going to change again. if the D's hold 2 of 3 (Governor, Auditor, Sec of State) seats after the 2010 election, then this house and senate seat will be redrawn so a Democrat can win. Now, both the 17th House dist and the 24th Senate dist are drawn for Republicans.

If you're really interested, I would suggest you building a real electoral base by running for Pepper Pike Council or Orange School Board, so by the time the Democrats redistrict in 2011, you will be at the head of the pack for the house or senate seat.

Look what Mandel, Trakas and Spada all did. Before running for the legislature, they each had Council bases which gave them votes and credibility to begin with.

I know you work very hard on your blog, but the unfortunate reality today (hopefully it will be different 5 years from now) is that average voters don't read blogs. I think we saw that with the Mandel/Goudy race.

I'm all for you running, but you should consider first building an electoral base through Council or School Board.

At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the thing that sucks for us on the house seat is that it keeps getting more and more republican everyday. all these new homes going up in brecksville, broadview heights, independence etc. are being filled by young/middle-aged business professionals who care about lower taxes and "security" as main issues and mostly vote republican.

it really pisses me off that the republicans have hijacked this security issue, so hopefully their "wonderful" way of handling security in iraq will prove otherwise.

At 1:39 PM, Blogger Jill said...

To the Anon who starts out, "jill, you should also understand..."

Thank you for your thoughts - I mean that sincerely.

But they seem to represent a misreading of my comments.

I ask because I can - because you all have knowledge I don't. I didn't ask because I actually expect to do anything with the information. As people who know me will tell you, if I'm going to commit to something, you'll know it. Otherwise, consider me a "not interested" - which I am emphatically, and I commented as to that effect earlier.

I mean this in the kindest way possible - it serves no one any good to write comments that make it sound as though I think I might run, or I'm letting others think that I will, and then write a comment that makes it sound as though you're helping dissuade me from doing it.

Again - I appreciate the input, I'm NOT trying to be snarky so I apologize if it comes off that way. I wrote it before and I'll write it again: I'm not running for anything like a state seat anytime before at least six years. I've got bar mitzvahs to destroy and children to damage and more immediately, a vulnerable little first grader with pneumonia.

So please, I am really honored that people would spend this kind of mental energy on me at all - I really mean that. But I am really happy with my life right now and love learning about the politics. I know I'll stay involved, be involved and learn and do more.

But don't make it sound like I think I might run, then tell me why I shouldn't and then I have to come here to say, it's not a happening thing.

Because it's not a happening thing (man, I feel like Paul Hackett when he kept saying, I'm not going in for Studebaker etc.).

Ok - seriously - thanks - I know you meant well, I think.


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