Ohio House 16th: Patton (D) Decides Not to Seek Nomination [UPDATED]
UPDATE: Just a few hours after I posted the following, I got a call from Connor Patton in which he informed me that he has decided not to seek the 16th District nomination after all. He said that Jennifer Brady will be an excellent candidate and that he wishes her great success. He also said that it would be counterproductive for two Democrats to be competing at this point, when there is a Republican candidate out there and a race to be won, and Brady needs to be able to get her campaign started immediately.
This is my third recent post about the Democratic nomination for the 16th Ohio House District. On Tuesday I wrote that successful write-in candidate Michael O'Shea was going to be replaced on the ballot, but had no information about the two potential replacements except their names. Yesterday I added some information about one possible nominee, Jennifer Brady (D-Westlake), based on her email and a telephone conversation with her. I have now spoken to the other, Connor Patton (D-Rocky River), and have a little background information from his perspective.
Patton is 30 years old and is presently finishing a degree in political science at Cleveland State University. He says that he grew up in a family with a history of public service and community activism and has been interested in politics since he was a child. His father was a legislative agent for the Ohio Association of Fire Fighters, and he has one grandfather who was a speechwriter for two Congressmen and another who founded the West Side Irish American Club. Patton has just finished serving as manager of the 16th Ohio House District primary campaign of Rep. Mike Foley (D-Cleveland), and previously worked on the city council campaign of Colleen Corrigan in Cleveland's 21st Ward. He has previously worked as a Deputy Clerk in the Cuyahoga County Probate Court, as an intern with the Ohio Department of Commerce, and as a union laborer.
Of his rival for the nomination, Patton says that "she is a great person" and he has "nothing bad at all to say about her," but feels that he has better credentials. Regarding her statement that she has the support of the ward leaders from all five cities in the district, Patton says that he is simply not aware of whether that is the case and is looking into it. He believes that it is possible that if all the ward leaders have expressed support for Brady, they may have done so before learning that there was another potential candidate seeking the nomination. The matter is to be decided by a vote of all precinct Central Committee members in the district, and unfortunately no time frame has been set for that vote. (According to Patton, the rules require only that the replacement be named at least 76 days before the election.) Patton is very concerned that a nominee should be selected soon, in order to get a campaign up and running as quickly as possible.