Despite their mutual hostility, Summit County Republican Chairman Alex Arshinkoff and former state Sen. Kevin Coughlin do have one thing in common: each has long had the will, but neither has found the way. For the chairman, he has aspired to recognition as a powerful player at the state and national level of the GOP while presiding over a local party that has been reduced to the margins of politics. For Coughlin, young, very conservative and fully aggressive, he has aspired to a higher political calling - governor? - and finds himself in a brouhaha that is no more than routine in the Arshinkoff universe.
You are reminded of how Coughlin, who as a senator favored term limits, was TR'd out of his own senate seat in 2010, and is now trying to find his way back onto the playing field by running for clerk of courts in Stow. His itinerary to the November election will be as a non-partisan candidate. You'd think there was nothing terribly evil here to turn it into a blood sport between the GOP Arshinkoff wing and EE (Everybody else).
But wait, dear reader. Even though the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the non-partisan candidacy of a Republican judge in 2007, the fact that Coughlin was trying it out for size in November's election was enough to drop the issue in the lap of Board of Elections. I won't bother you with the murky details, because they could change by the hour. Suffice it to say that Arshinkoff sits on the board, where the sea is seldom calm, and insists the clerk of courts is a partisan job.
Not that Coughlin is alone in this battle of wits. Stow Municipal Judge Kim Hoover, a Republican, has filed for re-election as a non-partisan. The judge, no friend of Arshinkoff's, is not taking the chairman's complaints seriously.
"After all of Alex's blathering about this," Hoover says, "it will come down to how much value he will put into the question. How much is it worth to him? I'm guessing it will then go away."
Oy. Arshinkoff vs. Coughlin. Awesome.
Is there anything good on the TV tonight?