An examination of the 2008 Medina County election results shows that Medina County continues its pro-incumbent bias, as well as the importance of name recognition. Every incumbent on the ballot run re-election in Medina County regardless of political party. Every challenger to an incumbent lost, regardless of political party, sometimes by more votes, sometimes by less votes, but they all lost.
Medina County hasn't seen an incumbent defeated in a non-judicial election since 1996, when Republican Steve Hambley defeated Democrat Ferris Brown for County Commissioner. Comparing the 12 years between 1996 and 2008 to the 12 years between 1984 to 1996 shows an interesting contrast. In judicial elections in that same period, one incumbent was defeated. While it is always difficult to defeat an incumbent, in the past it hasn't been quite as difficult as it has been lately.
In the 12 year period between 1984 to 1996, four incumbent office-holders were defeated, two Democrats and two Republicans. Two were county commissioners and two were county prosecutors. Interestingly, three of the incumbents who were defeated were only in office one term before being replaced. In fact, in 1996, the one incumbent who was defeated had only been in his position for one term, although he had first been elected to county office in 1982.
One of the reasons why it has been difficult to defeat incumbents is that three of Medina County's officeholders have been in office for at least 12 years, and in one case, for twenty years. This longevity in office gives them a lot of opportunities to get their name out in the public and to become known. In Medina County name recognition is more important than party identification. An office-holder is better positioned to win an election as a Democratic incumbent than as a Republican challenger, as Medina County Prosecutor Dean Holman proved last night.
You can view the Medina County election results here.