Will Anyone Challenge Tim McGinty in Prosecutor's Race?

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Update: Mike O'Malley got the Cuyahoga County Democrats' city leaders recommendation this morning over Tim McGinty. City ward leaders take that recommendation to the executive committee, which meets Dec. 17. That's when an official endorsement in the prosecutor's race would come.

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(Original story 12/1/2015) We're getting pretty close to the time when anyone hoping to challenge Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty in the Democratic primary would have to step forward and commit to running. So far, McGinty's the only candidate listed on the board of elections website, but three sources have told Scene that former Bill Mason deputy and current Parma safety director Mike O'Malley is seriously considering running. He's been described by various people as "in" or "seriously kicking the tires" and has had conversations with at least one ward leader to court support. O'Malley didn't return a message from Scene this afternoon. And as we mentioned before, he's not officially in yet.

One fella we talked to was on the receiving end of a telephone poll recently. There were five names mentioned — McGinty, O'Malley, Subodh Chandra and two others that escaped his memory. Whether McGinty put the poll out to gauge support in the wake of what has been a difficult and controversial first term or whether O'Malley was testing the waters isn't clear. We talked to Chandra this morning; he said he wasn't running. 

McGinty handily beat out four Democratic candidates in 2012, including Chandra. It was an open race, an oddity around these parts — Mason declined to seek his fourth term. There was no incumbent then but there is this time, which brings up an interesting question: Would the Cuyahoga County Democrats decline to endorse the incumbent given McGinty's tenure and the Tamir Rice case? And would they decline to endorse McGinty even if he were the only candidate?

The Cuyahoga County Democratic Party ward leaders meet this coming Saturday morning at 10 a.m. That meeting is to come to a recommendation to take to the executive committee for a proper endorsement. If O'Malley is running he'll be there and probably see how the recommendations from the ward leaders shake out before the next major date on the county party's calendar: The executive committee meeting on December 17, which is one day after the deadline for partisan primary candidates to declare.

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