Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Democrats, Republicans and the Sore Loser statute...

It's pretty obvious Stephanie Studebaker is going to have to step down. Until the 911 tape transcript was released there was some leeway on that as an end result. Now that it's out there after what Stephanie's father in law said about her as a part of the transcript that's going to be hard to overcome. Even the Washington Post thought the story should be covered. The decision can be delayed but the reality is? It's over.

Now what? There's not much time to arrange a special election, and similar to what is happening with Bob Ney's decision to step down, there seems to be some disagreement on who can run and some of the legal questions.

I had to laugh when Paul Hackett's name was mentioned, anyone who has one iota of common sense would know he'd never enter that race.

According to this Dayton Daily News article there is already conflicting information as to who could run "if" Stephanie Studebaker steps down:

Were Studebaker to withdraw, Lieberman (Montgomery County Democratic Chairman Dennis Lieberman) said, "it would be difficult to find a candidate, but we'll try."

He said two possible choices would be Charles W. Sanders and David Fierst, two Democrats who lost to Studebaker in the May primary.

But Brian Rothenberg, a spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party, said neither Sanders nor Fierst may be eligible to run because of the state's "sore loser" provision. That provision bars someone defeated in a primary from running in a general election.

Money is a factor in all campaigns and it appears even against the blog popular Studebaker that Mike Turner has gotten more donations:

As of June 30, Turner had raised $642,077 and had $378,065 in the bank, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. Studebaker had raised $89,748 and had $37,551 on hand.

It appears the only person interested is Debbie Lieberman, and she just took office last year as a County Commissioner.

I'm thinking it probably wasn't a smart move by Debbie to let her domain expire. They might want to jump on that one soon. I realize her husband is the Chair of the Democratic Party in Montomery County but will that be enough to raise the funds needed to compete against Turner?

This does demonstrate that Ohio needs to take a look at the procedures in place when a candidate does drop out of a campaign. While the "Sore Losers" Law was created to protect the two main political parties from having a candidate who lost a primary run as an independent, realistically a candidate dropping out of a race is a different scenario. Logic suggests that first preference should be on someone who actually ran in a primary for that particular seat. Eliminating those who actually demonstrated a desire to run for that office merely because the candidate who won could not longer campaign doesn't make sense.

So in looking for a silver lining to both Ney and Studebaker, I guess it could be developing a better set of procedures in the future for when a candidate does drop out of a race prior to an election. It appears both Republicans and Democrats both should have an interest in that.

(This was written for the Carnival of Ohio Politics brought to you by Paul Miller of Northwest Ohio Net. Stop by his site tomorrow to read what some of Ohio's best bloggers are focusing on.)


Cyberseaer said...


Is it something that all the Democrats in Ohio are drinking that causes them to self destruct? Just wondering.

And thank you for the continuing entertainment that we in NJ are enjoying.

Unknown said...

Ney is a Republican - so maybe it's something in the water that is making many of them self destruct.

I think it also has to do with stupid rules designed to protect the two main political parties from having a "Joe Lieberman" experience that is now going to cause problems in replacing candidates during the election process. Evidently who ever decided the "Sore Loser" law was a good idea didn't stop to fully realize all of the possible scenarios.

But, I'm glad I can provide entertainment without having to go into the lastest Erin drama production which would also be entertaining...


Anchorage Activist said...

Here's the way we handled a similar situation in Alaska. In 2003, after Frank Murkowski was elected governor, he appointed his daughter, Lisa Murkowski, who had been re-elected to the State House in 2002 by a narrow margin, to replace him in the U.S. Senate. Then Governor Murkowski appointed Lisa's Republican primary opponent, Nancy Dahlstrom, to replace Lisa in the State House (Lisa ran unopposed in the general election in 2002). This seems the most logical way to do it and is worthy of emulation.

Unknown said...

Umm...I hope you understand why I wouldn't want to emulate Alaska.


Scott G said...

We have had several elections in Minnesota where the defeated person in the primary has run in the general election. I think that is how Pawlenty managed to become governor. I think the sore loser law would be good if it had stipulations for someone dropping out, like you said.

Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...

Just goes to show that trying to keep any willing candidate from running can bite you in the ass, when you least expect it.

Serves them (the major parties) right.

Scott G said...

Do I have to be a resident to run in Ohio

Jonathan said...

Do I have to be a resident to run in Ohio

Good question, Me4. If Shrillary can run for New York Senator despite not being from there or having lived there, I don't see why you couldn't give OH a whirl! :-)