Friday, June 08, 2007

Stark Raving Ambiguity UPDATED

Questions about next year's Congressional race in the 16th District are turning into a soap opera. Last night Admin at BSB found a Google hit for a Canton Rep. story entitled "Regula Running After All." The link is dead. Admin is working to track it down.

Meanwhile, the morning papers clarify how murky the picture is. Schuring says he is setting himself up to run if Regula decides to retire. From the Rep:

    Running for the office is "something I would consider if Congressman Regula does decide not to run," Oelslager said. "I am patiently waiting to see what he wants to do. He's done a great job, and I respect the work he's done."

    Schuring said he told Regula of his plans to form a committee.

    "The congressman knows we're doing this and gave his permission," Schuring said. "I am running in concert with his making a decision. If he decides to run, I would take whatever political apparatus I have and fold it into his."

And just in case you a blogger trying to read the tea leaves:
    Schuring said there is no hidden message suggesting Regula should retire.

Still not convinced? Here's Schuring in the ABJ:
    Regula, who turns 83 later this year, is undecided about running for re-election, according to Schuring.

    Schuring has registered with the Federal Election Commission to establish a congressional exploratory committee for the 16th Congressional District, which includes Stark, Wayne and portions of Ashland and Medina counties.

    "It is important that there be a candidate and an organization in place to run for the seat in the event the congressman decides to retire," Schuring said in a prepared statement.

It's just about being ready. Nothing against Ralph. Really. OK, Mr. Skeptic, check out the Massillon Independent:
    “I’m a big supporter of Congressman Regula,” Schuring said. “The purpose of this committee is to do the exploratory work to prepare for a potential campaign if – and it is a big if – the congressman decides not to run.”

    Schuring said he has been in communication with Regula and the congressman has not made up his mind yet about 2008.

    “The 2008 election is a presidential year,” Schuring explained. “The primary has been moved up from May to March. That means the filing deadline is less than six months away. That is why it is important to form this committee now – to build a strong grass roots network of support.

    “It is important that a candidate and an organization be in place in the event the congressman decides to retire.”
It's up to Ralph, OK. They love Ralph. They want Ralph. They just need to be ready in case. Really.

Meanwhile, Schuring is preparing for a bruising primary if Ralph does retire. A likely opponent is Schuring's friend and GA colleage Scott Oelslager. Again from the Rep:
    Like Schuring, state Rep. Scott Oelslager, R-North Canton, has long had an interest in the congressional seat Regula occupies, but Thursday he said he had "really no reaction" to Schuring's announcement.

    Running for the office is "something I would consider if Congressman Regula does decide not to run," Oelslager said. "I am patiently waiting to see what he wants to do. He's done a great job, and I respect the work he's done."
* * *
    If Regula doesn't run, Schuring expects a primary battle costing more than $1 million.

    "The simple fact is congressional races are not cheap," he said. "I have a team of individuals who are respected and well-connected. We have a good message and will run on all eight cylinders.

    "I'm about to embark in turbulent waters. Elections these days are a blood sport. It's a shame. There was a time when elections were conducted on principles and policy. Now it's about politics and personalities."

Meanwhile, Team Boccieri is feeling it. I emailed for comment last night and got referral to the Google image, plus a couple great lines:
    John is not in this to represent the special interests of the wealthy and powerful, who are trying to strongarm the GOP into running the candidate of their choosing. John is committed to representing the PEOPLE of this area, whether working, disabled or retired; young or old, students to senior citizens. We're going to wage an effective, aggressive campaign --no matter who runs on the other side.
* * *
    [I]t is fair to say that a certain C-130 pilot is already shaking things up, eh?

This is going to be a sweet race.

UPDATES. First off, I omitted the link to the BSB post. Apologies to Admin. Second, a new post on BSB explains the rogue headline.


Anonymous said...

Regula probably runs again. Schuring, Ron Amstutz, and Scott Oelslager are all in the primary if he does not.

Schuring is the early favorite.

Boccieri is well liked and a good campaigner. But he has to move into the district and just voted against property rights.

It's a race whether Regula runs or not.