Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Surprise, surprise; Horrigan wins a landslide

Democrat Dan Horrigan's runaway victory in Akron's mayoral race was as predictable  as another  quarterback controversy for the Browns.  Eddie Sippien, a Republican lawyer, never had a chance, even as  Acme supermarket chief Steve Albrecht strangely  cast himself into Sippien's  life as his campaign manager.  (to help him with yard signs, among other things!)

GOP county chairman Alex Arshinkoff will  likely distance  himself from  his party's dismal mayoral outcome on Tuesday by excusing  the result  as the  quadrennial victim of the city's overwhelming Democratic numbers.    But some of us will keep in mind that the city elected two Republican mayors - Roy Ray and John Ballard -  at the height of the union power  of the United Rubber Workers.

For another reality check, consider that in recent years the GOP has lost it hold on several county offices,  including probate judge and prosecutor.  You might also add  that even in Cuyahoga Falls, Arshinkoff's favorite long-time mayor, Don Robart, was convincingly  upset in 2013 and repeated his  downward spiral in the X-rated Stow clerk's race, finishing dead last behind Arshinkoff nemesis Kevin Coughlin and the winner, Democrat Diana Colavecchio.

If I were still at my desk at the Beacon Journal, Jack Knight would have had me in his office once again to question the sorry state of the county Republican Party.  Write about it! he insisted , even though there was nothing new to report from my last party obit.

Even if Arshinkoff finally retires after nearly four  decades in the job,  he is likely to be succeeded by his cupbearer, Bryan  Williams.  That  couldn't help very much to rein in straying Republicans.   The reason, of course, is that...guess!

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Interim Democratic Mayor Jeff Fusco, who held up well under trying circumstances after the unexpected resignation of Don Plusquellic, will return to his role as the county party chairman as well as to his seat as at-large city councilman. It was a challenge to step up from council president  - as required by the next-in-line rule of ascendancy  - into  the role of acting mayor.   But we didn't hear of any problems from the abrupt transition. When he called the next afternoon,  it immediately became obvious that he was not enjoying his victory.  He was hoarse and feeling awful from a sinus infection.
The good news for him was that the election was now  entered in the history books.

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