JOKERS TO THE RIGHT: KUCINICH'S GOP 'CHALLENGERS'

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The latest report from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections shows that five candidates have now pulled petition to vie in the Republican primary for a chance to face Dennis Kucinich next November for the 10th district congressional seat. Good luck with that, guys.

The problem is that all five are unknowns without any record of past campaigns or holding elective office. Only Thomas R. Olschlager has a web site, where he shares fun facts like “Under the socialist/communist healthcare plan in the Soviet Union during the early part of the 20th Century, the average number of abortions grew to 12 per female regardless of age. Some women had as many as 20, thus causing a sharp rise in uterine damage and related injuries and cancers.” He’s been endorsed by Doug Hoffman, the teabagger candidate who recently caused the Republicans to lose a congressional seat in upstate New York they’d held for over a century.

The other four potential contenders — James Brihan, Peter J. Corrigan (not the Democratic common pleas judge of the same name), Willard “Benjamin” Franklin and Michael Grusenmeyer (who had previously pulled petitions to run as a Democrat, Republican and Independent in the U.S. Senate race, but has now withdrawn ) — are complete ciphers without any discernable campaign presence.

In 2008, Kucinich faced his toughest contest since he was elected in 1996 when his opponent was James Trakas, a former state representative and former Cuyahoga County Republican Party chair. Clearly the strongest opponent the Republican Party had put up against Kucinich, Trakas still lost by an overwhelming 157,268-107,918. Most of Kucinich’s previous opponents had lost by margins of around 2-1. It doesn’t look like this time will be any different. — Anastasia Pantsios

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