A few weeks ago, I heard from a few party insiders that there was a 'significant name' looking to start a write-in campaign to become Findlay's mayor. My first thought was that Tony Iriti was not going to go quietly into the night, but I could not find out any more information about this possibility.
Late tonight, however, I heard something new. It is going around that a few people in the Hancock County GOP are not too thrilled with the possibility of Pete Sehnert being the next mayor. There are those inside the municipal building, as well as long-time Republicans, who feel that Tony Iriti's defeat last May was a fluke due to low voter turnout, and that it should not have happened. According to one person, Sehnert has been summoned to talk with the head of the local GOP to discuss the possibility of him (Sehnert) stepping aside for the good of the party.
From what I understand, the GOP is talking about doing one of the following:
Scenario 1 - Resign and Replace
Pete Sehnert would resign as the Republican candidate for Mayor. The Republican Central Committee would then nominate FRANK GUGLIELMI as their candidate and let him be on the ballot in November.
Scenario 2 - Win and Replace
It would be difficult for Democratic candidate Thomas Knopf to be elected. So, let Sehnert win the race, have him resign, and the Republican Central Committee would then appoint Guglielmi as the mayor.
Scenario 3 - Write-In
Frank Guglielmi runs as a write-in candidate.
Exciting, isn't it? We might have a race worth following this autumn.
So, who is Frank Guglielmi? He is a Findlay businessman who unsuccessfully ran for the Republican nomination to replace Mike Oxley (losing to Jim Jordan). According to campaign finance records from 2006, Guglielmi spent over $1.66 million running for the nomination, with 93.9% of that being self-financed (folks, that’s a whopping $1.56+ million from his own pocket). Would he spend this much again, especially for a mayoral contest? Even if he is the nominee going into the election, probably not. However, if it is scenario 3, he is going to have to boost his name recognition a little bit more since it will not be on the ballot, and that requires resources ($$$).
Are any of these scenarios likely? They are real enough that the Hancock County Democratic Party (I heard) is talking about the possibility, discussing how all three scenarios affect their candidate, and planning on what to do if it happens.
Put aside the moral issues I have with forcing a candidate to resign because some people don’t like them; over 55% of Republicans that voted in May selected Sehnert, and their selection is being pressured into dropping out (anyone feeling disenfranchised?). I would expect things like this in other cities or parts of the country (Chicago comes to mind), but not here in Flag City USA! On the other hand, I am not surprised (unfortunately) by anything politicians are capable of in this day and age.
Remember…these are just rumors that I heard, and they are subject to change. But as we know, rumors and politics go hand-in-hand. If anyone has any more information or has anything to contribute, either put it into the comments section or e-mail me.