Crossing Over the River Jordan…or is it the Chagrin?

Submitted by Frank Gwirtz

Parkman Township


I was talking to a friend last week and reminded him that the primary election was coming up on March 17 and that Matt Rambo would be challenging the current Probate/Juvenile Court Judge in the Republican primary. He said that, while he certainly hoped that Rambo would be successful, he had been voting as a Democrat for many years and just didn’t feel right switching parties just to vote in one particular race. Besides, he said, “the Presidential Primary has one or two candidates I’m pretty excited about. I’d hate to pass up the opportunity to have a vote in that race by asking for a Republican ballot.”

Here is my response to him and all my friends who consider themselves Democrats or independent voters.

While there certainly are some members of the Democratic Party who really could not arbitrarily change their party affiliation, such as current office holders, candidates, Board of Elections workers, members of the Central Committee and a few others, for most voters, party affiliation is a matter of choice. It is certainly not a contract. So there can be reasons to switch affiliation when extraordinary circumstances arise that make it advantageous or even necessary.

Despite the fact that Ohio moved the primary election date to March 17, several other big states, including California for instance, will be voting on March 3 or earlier. The Democratic nomination could be all but decided by then. If it is still up for grabs on the 17th, another large number of states will be voting along with Ohio. The influence of one Ohio voter will be inconsequential in that race—especially if the voter’s favorite candidate is not one of the top two candidates at that point.

Contrast that to the situation we have locally in Geauga County. The race for Probate/Juvenile Court Judge has a real competitor for the first time since the day the current occupant of that office was appointed by Governor Kasich. A few hundred votes could just be enough to tip the balance. Anyone who is unaware of how the local judicial races can affect their lives in a very dramatic and personal way should spend some time looking around this website. For six years we’ve documented the many ways in which the current judge has abused his office and frozen the public out of any discussion of policy concerning the public boards he is empowered to appoint. This has resulted in massive waste and misuse of funds and public assets. There have also been many stories of how he has abused his power to negatively impact families and intimidate other elected officials and public bodies.

We now have one chance to support a good and qualified candidate for Probate/Juvenile Court Judge. That candidate is Matthew Rambo. I would walk through the river Jordan…or rather the Chagrin, on March 17th in order to vote for Rambo. Good citizenship demands that we fight against corrupt and self-serving office holders. Today, for me, that means crossing over and voting for Rambo in the Republican primary.

A few links to more information for a historical perspective:

Protect Geauga Parks endorses and supports Matt Rambo for Geauga County Probate/Juvenile Court Judge in the March 17 Republican Primary election.
Please request a Republican Party ballot and vote for Matt Rambo.

Protect Geauga Parks is a 501(c)4  non-profit corporation 
This communication is not authorized by any candidate, political party or campaign committee.

Categories: Commentary

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