After Losing His Clerk Of Courts Election, Russ Joseph Asks The MCDP To Appoint Him To The County Treasurer’s Office

Russ Joseph just lost his election to remain Clerk of Courts. Now he is asking the MCDP to appoint him County Treasurer to complete Carolyn Rice’s term

Russ Joseph is seeking to be appointed Montgomery County Treasurer, the office vacated because Caroline Rice was elected Montgomery County Commissioner. The Democratic Party is empowered by state law to make the appointment. In a letter sent to Central Committee members, Joseph wrote: “I humbly ask for your support for the appointment to Montgomery County Treasurer and hope you’ll attend the MCDP meeting on January 17.”

Joseph has a long-time relationship with Mark Owens, the MCDP Chairman. For over ten years, Joseph served as Mark’s Chief Deputy Clerk. Mark was appointed Clerk for Dayton Municipal Courts in 1991 and has been regularly reelected.

This is the second time that Russ Joseph has asked the Central Committee to name him to an office vacated by a Democrat.

In 2017, Central Committee selected Joseph to to serve as Montgomery County Clerk of Courts, when the office was vacated by Greg Brush. The party thought that Joseph, as an incumbent, could win election in 2018 — but, Joseph lost to Republican Mike Foley by 841 votes — out of over 200,000 votes cast. (Joseph: 100862 votes to Foley: 101603 votes.)

Now Joseph is asking the Central Committee to trust him again to keep Democratic a county office long held by the Democratic Party. Joseph is asking the Central Committee to appoint him County Treasurer so he can run as an incumbent in 2020.

Joseph has managed to antagonize some loyal Democrats. His support in this election was much weaker than other county-wide Democrats. He was strongly criticized for his questionable attacks on his opponent in the 2018 campaign.

Evaluating the 2018 election, David Esrati writes:

The Ohio Democratic Party needs to have a housecleaning- as does the Montgomery County Democratic Party who have let our county go from Blue to Red over the last 10 years thanks to their protection of the “Friends and Family” plan.

Russ Joseph is a prime example. His 10 years of experience and believed “political acumen” lost him a job he should have been a shoe in for. He raised more money- but instead of talking about issues, talked about a man’s family. Of course, he won’t be unemployed in January- the Party takes care of it’s own.

Although the Central Committee is a public body subject to the Sunshine Laws, according to Ohio Revised Code, by majority vote, the body can choose to make appointment selections by secret ballot. I’m wondering if a secret ballot would be the best choice. I’m wondering if there are other candidates that the Selection Committee is vetting?

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