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Democratic candidates to attend Akron forum

By Doug Livingston Published: February 15, 2016

The 2016 Democratic Primary Candidates and Issues Forum luncheon will be held at the First Congregational Church of Akron (292 E. Market St.) from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 5. 

The event, hosted by the Federated Democratic Women of Summit County, is free to the public. Lunch is optional for $14.

Local, state and federal office holders and candidates have been invited to speak during the luncheon. Other representatives will be on hand to discuss upcoming ballot issues, including tax levies and charter amendments in Coventry, Cuyahoga Falls, Norton and Akron.

Seating is limited. Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP by Feb. 29 to Renee’ Greene, president of the Federated Democratic Women of Summit County, by calling 330-867-4329.

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Tea Party favorites get Valentine's Day endorsements

By Doug Livingston Published: February 15, 2016

Ohio’s Tea Party leaders have released their Valentine’s Day endorsements for conservative federal candidates in the upcoming Republican Party primary on March 15.

In supporting candidates who prefer limited government and lean taxation, the We the People Convention, a politically active nonprofit organization, has endorsed religious rights activist Don Eckhart over incumbent Rob Portman in the statewide race for U.S. Senate, realtor Terry Robertson over incumbent Bob Gibbs in Ohio’s 7th congressional district race and former state Rep. Matt Lynch over incumbent Dave Joyce in the 14th District.

“Our main criteria for endorsement is to select conservative citizen representatives who will put the interests of the people before their own interests and those of any special interests,” Tom Zawistowski, head of the Portage County TEA Party, said in releasing the endorsements Sunday. “We believe that the candidates we have endorsed for federal office are of high moral character, have the fortitude to resist the temptations of Washington, and are committed to selflessly serve the people of Ohio.”

We the People formed in 2011 on the heels of a national conservative movement that catapulted several Tea Party conservatives into office. The not-for-profit group, which coalesces the TEA Party, Liberty Group, Libertarians and other social conservatives, is allowed to make endorsements under the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Zawistowski noted that not unlike some presidential candidates, this year’s slate of endorsements includes several outside candidates.

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Christie reportedly dropping out of race

By Doug Livingston Published: February 10, 2016

Chris Christie is the latest casualty in the Republican race for the White House.

Multiple sources close to New Jersey governor’s presidential campaign have told CNN that Christie plans to suspend his campaign, a move that allows struggling candidates to collect donations to payoff campaign debts while not ruling out reentering the race.

Unlike Rand Paul, a libertarian candidate who suspended his campaign and endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz after a lackluster showing in Iowa, Christie has not yet endorsed another candidate.

He did tell media after the New Hampshire primary on Monday that he would not head directly to South Carolina to campaign in the next electoral showdown. Instead, after a “long talk” with frontrunner Donald Trump, he had planned to return to New Jersey to reassess his options.

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Rep. Roegner to hold open office hours

By Doug Livingston Published: February 10, 2016
Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 10.20.16 AM

State Rep. Kristina Roegner will hold open office hours Feb. 29 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library (3512 Darrow Rd.)

No appointments are necessary. Constituents in the Republican lawmaker's Ohio House district, which includes Stow, Hudson, Twinsburg and Nordonia Hills, are welcome to attend.

“It is important that I take the opportunity to connect with the residents of the 37th Ohio House District,” Roegner said. “These office hours will provide a valuable chance for my constituents to speak with me about their concerns and how I can best serve them in Columbus.”

Those unable to attend may contact Roegner through her office at 614-466-1177 or by email at

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Clintons come back to Ohio

By Doug Livingston Published: February 9, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s family, this time starting with her daughter, will be kicking of early campaigning in Ohio next week for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Chelsea Clinton will stop by an organizing event in Cleveland, home of the Republican National Convention in July. The visit on Monday comes on the last day for Ohioans to register in time to vote in the March 15 primary. Bill Clinton, who visited in 2008 to stump for his wife, has not yet scheduled a visit in Ohio.

Chelsea Clinton is expected to make the case for what’s at stake in the upcoming election.

The daughter will be fresh off a campaign stop this week in Flint, Mich., where her mother previously visited to call for the resignation of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. Democratic lawmakers and candidates have criticized Snyder after a measure to reduce municipal water costs backfired there, instead leaching lead into the city’s water supply.

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Meet Senator LaRose

By Doug Livingston Published: February 5, 2016

From the office of Republican Sen. Frank LaRose ...

LaRose Invites Residents to
Attend February District Office Hours 

State Senator Frank LaRose (R-Copley) will be available to meet with constituents in several district locations on Saturday, February 27, 2016. LaRose represents Wayne and portions of Summit and Stark counties. 

No appointment is necessary. In an effort to make himself accessible to everyone in his district, LaRose will hold office hours at the following three locations:

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Drug relief act clears state scrutiny over questionable petitions

By Doug Livingston Published: February 4, 2016

A citizen-led initiative to limit prescription drug costs cleared a major hurdle Thursday as the Secretary of State sent the measure to the legislature, the last step before appearing on the November ballot.

The “Drug Price Relief Act” pegs prescription drug costs to the lower rates paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Concerned about petitions riddled with crossed-out signatures, Jon Husted, Ohio’s elections chief, had asked each county board of elections to review for a second time all signatures.

Proponents of the measure accused Husted of acting on behalf of the pharmaceutical companies that might lose revenue should the measure pass.

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Regional labor group throws support to Strickland

By Doug Livingston Published: January 28, 2016

He may not have the support of Summit County’s Democratic elite, but former Gov. Ted Strickland picked up endorsements from thousands of the workers in one of northeast Ohio’s largest labor groups.

The Tri County Regional Labor Council, a branch of the AFL-CIO representing workers in Portage, Medina and Summit counties, is backing Strickland in his bid to become the next U.S. Senator from Ohio. The former congressman already has received the support of major state unions, including the Ohio Education Association and the United Auto Workers, as well as national and state Democratic notables, from President Bill Clinton, Sens. Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren to the Ohio Democratic Party.

Last week, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, Summit County Executive Russ Pry, County Council President Ilene Shapiro, state Sen. Tom Sawyer and state Rep. Emilia Sykes all came out in support of PG Sittenfeld, a 31-year-old Ivy League graduate and second-term councilman from Cincinnati.

Sittenfeld is running against Strickland, 74, in the March primary. The winner of that contest will face incumbent Republican Sen. Rob Portman.

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Bill aims to fix law guiding the replacement of independent office holders

By Doug Livingston Published: January 27, 2016

An Ohio senator, following the amicable lead of his Republican colleagues in Stark County, introduced a bill Wednesday that would clear up who fills partisan seats vacated by elected officials who claim no party status.

Sen. Scott Oelslager, R-North Canton, introduced the legislation after former Stark County Commissioner Tom Bernabei, who dropped the “D” next to his name while in office, stepped down this month after winning the Canton mayor’s race in the fall as an independent.

Bernabei’s disaffiliation with the Democratic Party created a unique situation: Ohio law does not specifically detail which party gets to fill county seats vacated by independents.

“That’s been in the legislature since 1985,” Oelslager said. “This is the first time that I’ve seen it. So this is a very unique situation that we’re trying to clarify.”

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Northeast Ohio's Young Republicans to gather in Akron, Aurora

By Doug Livingston Published: January 27, 2016

Young Republican across northeast Ohio will gather in the next week for annual kick-off meetings in Akron and Aurora.

The Summit County chapter of Young Republicans will host “like-minded” millennials (ages 18 to 35) at the conservative group’s satellite office (1596 W. Market St.) in Akron at 6 p.m. Thursday. Those interested in attending should RSVP with Debbie Walsh at For more information, contact Alex Pavloff at 330-212-7580 or Travis Johns at 330-432-4250.

Similarly, the Portage-Trumbull Young Republicans will meet Feb. 1, the night of the first presidential primary vote in Iowa. The group will host guest speaker Tyler Duvelius, a director with the Christian Coalition of Ohio. For more information or to RSVP, contact Tom O'Neill at 330-307-9871 or

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