Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Brown, Fudge push Stuart Garson as Democratic chair

Cuyahoga County Democrats have figured out who'll succeed Jimmy Dimora as party chairman, says the Plain Dealer's Mark Naymik. And it's not one of the usual suspects. It's Stuart Garson, former campaign treasurer for Sherrod Brown.

Garson has lined up support from Brown, Marcia Fudge, and Bill Mason, Naymik reports in his column today -- nearly enough to clinch the job before the party's June 16 vote.

This tells us a lot about where the local Democratic party is going. Now that the Dimora and Frank Russo era is over, Brown and Fudge are stepping into the vacuum, getting involved at the grassroots, nudging rank-and-file Democrats toward new names and strategies. They've lined up Mason's support in the party chairman contest, but they're not deferring to him. That's a sign that Mason's political network will remain a factor in Democratic politics, but not dominate it.

Here's another sign: Tom Day's name didn't come up in Naymik's column at all. Last year, the Bedford Municipal Court clerk was considered the insider choice for party chair. He counted both Dimora and Mason as allies -- which, in the old party politics, was more than enough to make him a front-runner. But handing the party chairmanship to a prominent figure in the Mason machine was not what Brown and Fudge had in mind.

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