Expectations of power contests in the local Republican and Democratic parties may prove to be a little overblown, judging from the filings for the two parties’ central committees.
Republican Chairman Jon Stainbrook’s volunteers turned in more than 240 candidate petitions of the total of 292 petitions filed for the Republican Party central committee — typically a good predictor of who’s going to win the party chairmanship.
On the Democratic side, 128 candidates filed, but whether those candidates are loyalists of Chairman Ron Rothenbuhler was not immediately clear.
Central committee members are elected May 6 and then meet as the central committee to elect officers, including chairmen.
The Lucas County Board of Elections is set to certify petitions today in a meeting planned for 1:30 p.m. in Government Center.
Mr. Stainbrook is facing opposition for the chairmanship from Bill Delaney, a retired tavern owner who ran last year for Toledo City Council as an independent.
He said Mr. Stainbrook is a RINO, or “Republican in name only,” who has “wreaked havoc on the Board of Elections.” Mr. Stainbrook is one of the four governing board members of the Lucas County Board of Elections.
“A lot of people lay down. They’re not standing up,” Mr. Delaney said. “I’d like to see the Tea Party, Libertarians, and conservatives to all join under the Republican label and get something done.”
Mr. Delaney acknowledged he does not have a long history in the GOP, saying he was too busy earning a living until his retirement two years ago.
Mr. Stainbrook said, given the number of petitions his supporters turned in, he feels confident about getting elected to a fourth term.
“I’m very honored and I feel very privileged that this many Republicans in the county are willing to step forward and be a part of the process in representing their neighborhoods, and I’m looking forward to many victories with this grassroots coalition in 2014,” Mr. Stainbrook said.
He declined to respond to Mr. Delaney.
Precinct committeemen can be elected in each precinct, though many seats remain vacant. Lucas County has 353 precincts. Only voters who pull a party ballot can vote for precinct committeemen. Typically, the seats are filled with fewer than 50 votes.
A review of copies of petitions provided to The Blade and a list of central committee candidates indicates that there are about 24 contested precincts on the Republican side and seven on the Democratic side.
Candidates also filed to be precinct representatives for the Green Party, with eight people filing.
One candidate in the Democratic field is Karen Shanahan, a two-time unsuccessful candidate for city council, who said she figures she can’t lose the central committee race because she’s the only candidate in her South Toledo precinct near Byrne Road and Glendale Avenue.
“[Precinct] 7H hasn’t been represented for a while. I think every precinct needs representation,” she said. She said she’s not part of any coalition aiming to oust Chairman Rothenbuhler.