June 29, 2016

Intermittent clouds

County GOP committee elects new leaders

Two months ago, the Medina County Republican Party’s Executive Committee elected its first chairwoman.

Now it’s the Central Committee’s turn.

Sharon Ray

Rick Stallard

Sharon Ray was elected chairwoman and Rick Stallard secretary at a meeting Sunday of the committee’s precinct representatives.

Ray, a former Medina County commissioner and longtime party member and leader, replaces Brunswick Mayor Gary Werner, who announced at the beginning of the year that he would not run for re-election.

“It will be an honor to serve my fellow Medina County Republicans in this capacity,” Ray said. “I believe there are very exciting times ahead.”

As chairwoman, Ray will serve as Medina County’s representative to the state Republican Central Committee.

Stallard, a Seville Village councilman, replaces Medina Municipal Clerk of Court Nancy Abbott, who was elected chairwoman of the county’s Republican Party Executive Committee in August.

Abbott replaced Kevin Dunn, who stepped down to become Medina County juvenile and probate judge after Judge John J. Lohn retired in July.

“I’m excited for the opportunity,” Stallard said. “I’m excited to be moving up in the party. I can better support other Republicans through my position and advocate conservative values.”

Also nominated to chair the committee were Medina County Commissioner Adam Friedrick and Montville Township Trustee Jeff Brandon. Joe Salzberger, a Brunswick area attorney, was nominated for secretary.

Nanci Shanley, a Lafayette Township trustee and media contact for both the Republican executive and central committees, said the decision to elect Ray was difficult.

“I think it was a tough choice for everyone, but Sharon Ray clearly has the time and objectivity to lead everyone well,” she said.

Shanley said a factor in the vote was concern about the demands placed on Friedrick by his work as commissioner.

“I think Adam is a great person and, of course, highly qualified; but it’s also a time issue and to be the head of the committee takes a lot of time and effort, and I think that’s asking a lot of someone,” she said.

Under Ohio law, political parties at the county level are organized around precinct committee persons, who are elected in the spring primary. Republican precinct committee members serve two-year terms.

The central committee names members to the state committees and elects the county’s executive committee members.

The executive committee is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the party and chooses a chairperson as the party’s top leader, as well as other officers.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.