Friday, February 6, 2015
Robart returns against Coughlin to show that he's a leader
I see that Don Robart, the former long-time mayor of Cuyahoga Falls, will attempt to be the Comeback Republican of the year. In Stow, Oh., no less. At age 69 and eager to have a day job again as the town's clerk of courts after his defeat in 2013.
That's the post now occupied by Kevin Coughlin, Robart's arch rival over the years, who says he hasn't decided whether he will run again. If he does, he could be a very conservative Republican running as a very conservative independent against a very conservative ex-mayor to make the general election a 3-way race that will include Democrat Diana Colavecchio. She once held the job briefly before Coughlin narrowly defeated her by a couple of points.
But that's getting ahead of the story, which already has been described in a Beacon Journal headline as the "stage for political fireworks." For now, however, it is more about the current intrigues of the Summit County Republican Party. Coughlin has forever been in the cross-hairs of party chairman Alex Arshinkoff as a pain-in-the-ass mutant from party orthodoxy, which Arshinkoff has largely controlled as his private domain. There's also been bad blood between Robart and Municipal Judge Kim Hoover, a Republican who transferred his court to Stow from Cuyahoga Falls in a dispute with the mayor. Connect the dots.
I would be shocked if Alex hadn't had a word or two with Robart on how to rid the county of the monstrous presence of Clerk Coughlin. Along with those briefings, there would also be assurances of how Robart's campaign would be paid for, which has always been Arshinkoff's forte when candidates come a-callin'.
Although the post is largely paperwork-bound, Robart said he wants to prove his leadership talent. But considering other possible options for his comeback - another mayoral campaign? - you can only wonder why he chose the one leading to Coughlin. In polite society, it would be called a grudge match.