On Tuesday there were two contested primaries in Medina County, both of them in the Republican primary. One of them involved David Centner's campaign against Sheriff Neil Hassinger. Centner, a former Medina County Sheriff Deputy and a officer in a suburban Cuyahoga County police department, has been running for Medina County Sheriff almost since the last election in 2004. His ability to raise money was often talked about among both Republican and Democratic politicians. He was thought to have a strong campaign organization and was believed to be mounting a challenge to Sheriff Hassinger.
While on the evening of March 4, 2008, Centner's dream of becoming Sheriff, at least in 2009, came to an abrupt end. Centner lost to Hassinger by 5264 to 12504. In percentage terms that was a loss of 29.63% to 70.37%. It is hard to see the Republican Party turning around and nominating Centner in 2012, assuming that Hassinger doesn't seek re-election after such a convincing rejection by Republican voters this year.
The irony referred to in our entry title is that supposedly David Centner was a Democrat, but switched registration several years ago. Had he run for Sheriff as a Democrat he would be the Democratic nominee today, and wouldn't have had to face Neil Hassinger in a contested Republican primary. Would he have won as a Democrat? Who knows, but there is evidence that 2008 is going to be a Democratic year.
To be clear, we haven't verified that Centner was a Democrat and switched parties. We have, though, heard this from more than one person. We have also seen a computerized voting history of Centner, though, showing that he has only voted in one Republican primary since 1998. This means that he skipped the Republican primary in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, before he voted a Republican ballot in 2006. If that computerized history is true, it obviously indicates that Centner wasn't a very committed Republican.
By way of contrast, Neil Hassinger voted in all of the Republican primaries listed above. Centner's voting history suggests that he was not a very partisan Republican. Not a good trait to have in a contested Republican primary when your opponent has been the successful Republican nominee for Sheriff three times prior to the 2008 Republican primary.
These are our parting words: If you are a Democrat, or for that matter a Republican, and want to run for political office, maybe you are better off sticking with your own party, and congratulations to Sheriff Neil Hassinger on a resounding victory.