State Sen 32nd: She's Ba-a-a-ack!
Capri Cafaro, shopping mall heiress and unsuccessful Congressional candidate (2004 general election in the 14th District against Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Concord Township), 2006 primary in the 13th District won by Betty Sutton (D-Copley Township), wants to be appointed to replace attorney general-elect State Sen. Marc Dann (D-Liberty Township) in the 32nd Ohio Senate District, comprised of Ashtabula and Trumbull counties in the far northeast corner of the state. From the Cleveland Plain Dealer blog Openers:
Senate Minority Leader C.J. Prentiss called Cafaro "extremely intelligent" and said her caucus was looking for someone who is electable and who can raise the buckets of cash needed to defend the seat. "It's very simple: Can they win in the district?" Prentiss said.Today's Plain Dealer notes that Cafaro claims to have the endorsement of Dann, and to have spent the weekend lining up support in both counties in the district. Rep. Sandy Harwood (D-Niles), whose district is Trumbull County, has other ideas:
Meanwhile, Harwood called herself the most electable candidate, noting that 40 percent of the Democrats in the Senate district live in her state House district.Former State Sen. Steve Latell is also a possible candidate.
She took a playful jab at Cafaro, who spent $1 million of her own money in losing a primary race for Congress this year.
"I'm hoping to win the lottery to level the playing field," Harwood said.
Harwood said published comments from State Sen. Bob Hagan that Cafaro's father, J.J., was lobbying with his checkbook on behalf of his daughter has upset voters. "It appears to the public that the seat is being bought, and they don't like it," Harwood said.
Harwood has raised the issue of Cafaro's residency. State law requires state senators to have lived in the district one year, and Cafaro established a residence in the Lorain area during the this year's primary. Cafaro said she has "a place in Lorain, but Trumbull is my home and has always been my home."
UPDATE: Okay, so I missed this story in the Youngstown Vindicator on Sunday. It says here that the 32nd District is definitely between Harwood and Cafaro, with state senator-elect John Boccieri (D-New Middletown) indicating that there is an effort underway to resolve the conflict by persuading Cafaro to take Harwood's House seat instead of the Senate seat. State Sen. Bob Hagan (D-Youngstown) is the senior member of the Senate Democratic Caucus and therefore gets to set the date for the vote, and he says it will occur on December 5th.
2nd UPDATE: The same newspaper has an article today saying that Cafaro's residency is a problem, and listing several other candidates who are interested:
Cafaro, a two-time failed congressional candidate, changed her voter registration location to her parents' Liberty home Aug. 15 from Sheffield, a village in Lorain County, according to records at the Trumbull County Board of Elections. Article II, Section 3 of the Ohio Constitution addressing the residency of state legislative candidates reads: "Senators and representatives shall have resided in their respective districts one year next preceding their election, unless they shall have been absent on the public business of the United States, or of this state." The Ohio Secretary of State's Office says it is up to the Democratic Senate Caucus to interpret the state constitution and determine if Cafaro is eligible to seek the seat.
Others in the race include:
State Rep. Sandra Stabile Harwood of Niles, D-65th, re-elected to her third two-year term last week.
Anthony A. Latell Jr. of Girard, who served eight years in the state Senate and two years in the Ohio House. He is also a former Trumbull County commissioner and a 2002 failed congressional candidate.
Matthew J. Cataline of Hubbard, who was disqualified as a candidate for the 65th House District race in 2002 because he didn't have enough valid signatures on his nominating petitions.
Trumbull Commissioner Dan Polivka of Warren and Martin Hume of Liberty, an attorney who unsuccessfully ran for the 11th District Court of Appeals in 2000, say they are considering runs for the post.