Today, finally, Russ Joseph conceded defeat to John McManus when the final vote was certified. Russ lost.
Russ Joseph got 128,633 or 49.62%, John McManus got 130,592 or 50.38%.The people have spoken, they once again decided that even as the incumbent, Russ wasn’t worthy of keeping his appointed position. Usually, being an incumbent and a dem guarantees you win a countywide race in Montgomery County- and this time, Russ had the benefit of being a dem like Joe Biden who won the county by a wider margin:
- DEM Biden/Harris135,064 50.18%
- Hawkins/Walker 884 0.33%LIB
- Jorgensen/Cohen 3,418 1.27%
- REP Trump/Pence 129,034 47.94%
Coattails didn’t help Russ. This is the second time, 40 people in a back room have hoisted him into office and now, this is the second time he’s lost- with the full backing of the Dem party.
The first seat he was given for being Dem Party Chairman and Dayton Clerk of Courts butt kisser was the county Clerk of Courts seat when former Clerk, Greg Brush resigned midterm. Russ ran a campaign, and lost to Mike Foley 2 years ago. Mike Foley barely spent a dime, and yet beat Russ by101,603 to 100,862 or 741 votes. Didn’t matter, because Carolyn Rice won Dan Foley’s vacant seat and left the treasurers office for the County Commission. The party then gave Russ that job to hold for 2 years- he began immediately. No one elected him to squat, but he was given the office on the whim of 40 people who weren’t elected by a majority of anything. And here is where things in Ohio law get confusing.
The terms of county officials are staggered in Ohio so that you don’t end up with a bunch of new folks all at once. So, the Treasurers office, and the petition to run for the job, state you start in September of 2021. Russ, and others, somehow think that because he was appointed to the unexpired term- he should fill it to the end of the term. Had he won, as the system is usually rigged to work, he’d be fine- staying until September- and then continuing on his happy way.
However, Russ was appointed. Now the people have spoken once again, and they didn’t want him as treasurer. For Senators who were appointed, when someone is elected to fill their term, they start immediately. Just like Russ started when the party appointed him. So far, the Secretary of State has waffled on this. Like so many things in Ohio law- it’s written by lawyers instead of people with a good command of the English language- so, it’s supposedly open to interpretation.
From the elections guide:
Vacancy in Elective Office
A vacancy in a public elective office can be caused by the death, resignation, suspension, or removal of the holder of the office before the current term has expired. The vacancy usually is filled initially by appointment in accordance with the relevant legal provisions. The vacancy in office also may require the holding of an election for the remainder of the unexpired term, depending on: 1) the particular office in which the vacancy has occurred, and 2) when the vacancy occurred.
Various provisions of the United States Constitution, Ohio Constitution, Ohio Revised Code, and home rule charters set forth procedures for filling a vacancy in a particular office by appointment, either for the remainder of the term or until an election is held to select someone to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.
When a vacancy occurs in a county office, the board’s director provides notice of the party’s right to make an appointment to fill the vacancy to the central committee of the political party with which the outgoing office holder is affiliated.
A board may use Secretary of State Form 292 (Certification by Director of Board of Elections as to Political Party Affiliation of the Last Occupant of a County Office) to do so.
Because the State seems to believe that only those who are D’s or R’s count- there is no provision whatsoever in the law what happens if an independent candidate would get elected. If they died or resigned, who would get to name the replacement?
19 Nov 2020, a friend who is a very good lawyer, which apparently, we don’t have as a Secretary of State or a County Prosecutor, pointed me to ORC 305.02 Vacancy in county offices filled by election or appointment
(B) If a vacancy occurs from any cause in any of the offices named in division (A) of this section, the county central committee of the political party that nominated the last occupant of the office as a candidate for that office for the current term shall appoint a person to hold the office and to perform the duties thereof until a successor is elected and has qualified, except that if such vacancy occurs because of the death, resignation, or inability to take the office of an officer-elect whose term has not yet begun, an appointment to take such office at the beginning of the term shall be made by the central committee of the political party that nominated the officer-elect as a candidate for that office for that term.
This section of law clears up some things, like what happens if an independent happens to win. But, it is clear, Russ is out as of yesterday, and McManus should be Treasurer now.
The idea that a political party gets to choose a person and their will outweighs the will of the people who chose a replacement in a regularly held election is almost as undemocratic as the false claims being made by Donald Trump about the legitimacy of the election. Russ Joseph is our local version of a man who should never have been allowed to have elected power.
The dirty little secret in Ohio- is that we don’t have a Hatch act provision to keep our political parties in check. Both parties in Montgomery County fill the seats with either elected officials or the people who work for them in patronage jobs. In Montgomery County Dem meetings- votes are held in public- so that you know that not going along with the majority could lead to you losing your cushy patronage job. The people who appointed Russ Joseph should have had no right to put him in power, but this is how the Monarchy works for the Monarchy and not the people. It’s how people like Beverly King got to hire her brother- a convicted rapist, to a job in the Board of Elections, without even posting the job. BTW- Bev is now the party secretary.
Once you work in government, or are elected to office, you should no longer be allowed to be involved in partisan party politics. You now work for US- the United States- which means ALL OF US- not just your party. This is how this country has screwed itself up- along with letting dotards like Russ Joseph get appointed to office.
If Russ had the tiniest bit of self-respect, he’d have resigned today and handed the keys of his appointed office to John McManus- the rightfully elected Treasurer. But, since he won’t- it’s time to file a lawsuit to put the will of the people over that of the criminals of the Montgomery County Democratic party. The one, we’re still waiting for the FBI to bring down as part of their culture of corruption investigation.