We have been curious about the Republican primary race for Lake County Recorder – Gabe Cicconetti versus Incumbent Becky Lynch. Why would a seemingly lifelong Democrat (Cicconetti), with strong name recognition as a Democrat, now “crossover” and challenge an incumbent Republican?
We were intrigued by that question so we contacted Mr. Ross McDonald, Director of the Lake County Elections Board, and asked how can that happen? Here is his response:
“For purposes of Ohio election law, an individual affiliates with a political party by voting in that party’s primary election. An individual does not register a political party preference when they register to vote. If a voter does not want to affiliate with a political party, then the voter may vote for issues only if any issues were certified to the ballot in that voter’s precinct.
An elector is considered to be a member of a political party if they voted in that party’s primary election within the preceding two calendar years, or if they did not vote in any other party’s primary election within the preceding two calendar years. (emphasis added by LFC)
In the last two calendar years, Lake County has had one partisan primary election, which occurred on May 8, 2018. Our voter history records indicate “R” or “r” for Republican Party, “D” or “d” for Democratic Party, “G” or “g” for Green Party, “L” or “l” for Libertarian Party, and “X” or “x” for issues only (nonpartisan). The difference between the upper and lowercase is how the voter participated; uppercase denotes an Election Day voter and lowercase denotes an absentee voter.”
Ross McDonald, Director of the Lake County Elections Board
So now that we have the rules, let’s see how Mr. Cicconnetti has voted in the last 21 elections. From the Lake County Board of Election’s website, we gathered the following voting information regarding Mr. Cicconnetti:
[Format: Year / Month / Day / “G” = General / “P” = Primary / “S” = Special][See Ross McDonald’s answer for “R,r,D,d,G,g,L,l, X,x]
1. 2006 11 07G “x”
2. 2008 03 04P “D”
3. 2008 11 04G “x”
4. 2009 11 03G “x”
5. 2010 11 02G “x”
6. 2011 05 03S “X”
7. 2011 08 02S “X”
8. 2011 11 08G “X”
9. 2012 03 06P “D”
10. 2012 11 06G “x”
11. 2013 11 05G “X”
12. 2014 05 06P “D”
13. 2014 11 04G “x”
14. 2015 11 03G “x”
15. 2016 03 15P “d”
16. 2016 11 08G “x”
17. 2017 05 02P “X”
18. 2017 11 07G “x”
19. 2018 05 08P “X”
20. 2018 11 06G “x”
21. 2019 11 05G “x”
Mr. Cicconetti is eligible to run on the Republican ticket even though he has never voted in a Republican primary. He met the rule: “if they did not vote in any other party’s primary election within the preceding two calendar years.“
Here is a flyer that was received in the mail…my, oh my, it sure looks likes he wants voters to know that he has nothing to do with the Democrats. Makes us wonder if “the man doth protest too much”.
Perhaps Mr. Cicconetti’s conversion to a Republican is real. However, as we look at his voting record we are inclined to give it a “definite maybe”…that is much different than our other option of “a for sure, maybe”.
What other reasons could make a Democrat run as a Republican? Any ideas? Let’s offer some conjecture, shall we:
- Incumbents Hamercheck and Lynch were surprise winners in the last election, and viewed as “soft targets” in 2020.
- The Lake County cabal made a deal – the Dems can have the Recorder position as long as the Republicans can control x, y or z. A political no-name will be offered as a sacrificial lamb for positions x, y and z so the unaware voters think that they are getting a choice at the ballot box.
- Party infiltration is real, and moles can be effective.
- Independents cannot win a County position, and you must be affiliated with either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party to have any chance at victory.
- The Republicans seemed to be poised to win in November, and Trump’s coattails will pull some Republicans in the local elections to victory.
We just finished reading a book called The Great Game, The Myth and Reality of Espionage by Frederick P. Hitz. Lake County’s local politics could be a chapter in the book.