Lorain attorney and newly installed Lorain County Democratic Party chairman Anthony Giardini is challenging state party boss Chris Redfern for the chairmanship.
Giardini wrote to all 66 state central committee members that Redfern's decision to run for the 89th District Ohio House seat, which he held previously, and being party chairman ''is not good policy for our party.''
Giardini said Thursday that Redfern running his own campaign takes away time he should be devoting to the two ''most important'' re-election campaigns, those of U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and President Barack Obama.
Giardini also questions Redfern's style of leadership.
He says he's spoken with several county chairmen and ''many of them feel like they are not in the loop. Many feel and felt like in the last few years ... they were being sidestepped and bypassed and certainly not a part of any strategies the Ohio Democratic Party was developing and when it came time to implement those strategies, they were not part of that, either.''
In response, Redfern supporters sent a letter praising his work and leadership. State representative and state central committee member Tom Letson is among the group of about 50 to sign it.
''I believe Chris has been instrumental in turning the Ohio Democratic Party into one of the premier organizations in all 50 states,'' said the Warren Democrat. ''It's in no small part to Chris Redfern.''
Also, Letson said he doesn't have a problem with Redfern possibly holding the positions of House representative and party chairman and where his focus would be directed. Letson said Redfern did both jobs before.
Central committee member Peggy Scott of Warren was not among those who signed. She said she doesn't know either man very well and is waiting to make a decision.
Redfern told the Columbus Dispatch that Democrats sometimes disagree, like any large organization, but always come together and focus on the important issues. The paper also reported that Redfern was thankful for the support of central committee members.
The Laborers' District Council of Ohio and, according to the Dispatch, Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council and the Ohio State Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters and Sprinkler-Fitters are asking that Redfern be replaced.
Committee members will meet sometime in the next two weeks to pick a chairman.
U.S. Senate race
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, has a double-digit lead over his Republican challenger, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, in the race for the U.S. Senate seat in Ohio, a Quinnipiac University Poll released last week shows.
Brown's 46 percent to 36 percent advantage over Mandel is largely from the support of women who, according to the poll, back Brown 48 percent to 31 percent. Men are tied with 43 percent for Brown and 42 percent for Mandel.
Quinnipiac Polling Institute assistant director Peter A. Brown said Mandel can take solace in Brown not being above 50 percent. ''There are seven months until election day, but Mandel needs to show some signs of life if he is going to make the Senate race competitive,'' Peter Brown said.