The Summit County Democratic team is looking a little younger - and more energized - these days and maybe it's just what the doctor ordered this election year.
Meet Pete Nischt, 27. He's the party's new executive director via an appointment by chairman Jeff Fusco. Nischt, Fusco told me, was "highly recommended by a number of people who know him personally and has great organizational skills."
Nischt arrives in the political trenches with a law degree and an MBA from the University of Akron. During lunch he impressed me with a ton of enthusiasm for the job
It's the sort of thing that you don't often find in the ranks of either party. Elected officials, particularly button-down Democrats, are generally satisfied (complacent?) with their safe positions but rarely do I find anybody ready to step up for the sake of the traditional party values that have long sustained the distinction of being called a Democrat.
Republicans, on the other hand, still cling to the notion that the first and only privileged rung on Jacob's ladder is a tax cut. I'll leave it at that.
So, yes, Nischt (pronounced Nisht, I think) brings an enthusiastic voice to the dance. That will pose the usual problems among some of the old folks, but he also appears to have the energy and intelligence to make a difference.