The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

February 20, 2012

Bailey, Brommer, seek to be Republican commissioner candidate

ASHTABULA COUNTY — Two Republican candidates are battling for the opportunity square off with the Democratic candidate for the county commissioner seat held by Peggy Carlo.

The March 6 primary will determine if Ryan Bailey or Roy Brommer will be the Republican candidate. The primary will also determine if the Democratic candidate will be Jacob Chicatelli of Conneaut or the incumbent.

Bailey, 25, is a Jefferson resident and single. He graduated from Geneva High School in 2005 and recently received his bachelor’s in political science and international relations from Kent State University. A second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves, Bailey said he plans to focus all of his energy and time this year on the run for commissioner.

Two years ago, Bailey ran in the very crowded field of Republican candidates for the state representative’s seat. Bailey came in second, behind Casey Kozlowski, who would go on to capture the seat from incumbent Deborah Newcomb.

This year, Bailey has the commissioner’s position in his sights.

“I want to be a commissioner mostly because I have a really strong sense of duty to Ashtabula County,” he said. “I am tired of watching Ashtabula County crash and burn because we’ve had the same group of people in charge for the last 40 years. I’m tired of seeing the same thing over and over again. I’m tired of it.”

Bailey said he would make the county much more friendly to businesses and entrepreneurs. He said it takes years and tens of thousands of dollars to navigate all the obstacles that the county and state put up against those who want to start a business.

“To call our county business-friendly is really a cruel joke,” he said.

Bailey also questions the wisdom of the county owning enterprise operations — the nursing home, water/sewer system and lodge and conference center.

He said that the two Democratic commissioners’ effort to pass a sales tax as an emergency measure ran counter to their promises not to raise taxes. “It was underhanded and devious,” Bailey said.

“They lied to the people in this county,” he said.

Bailey also criticizes the commissioners’ handling of budgetary issues that resulted in Judge Charles Hague and Sheriff William Johnson suing the county. Defending the county against those actions cost hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time when revenues were collapsing. Bailey said commissioners should have “gone into a room and settled it” rather than depending upon the courts to settle the issues.

“These lawsuits are an enormous waste of money,” he said.

He praised Commissioner Joseph Moroski for voting no on the sales tax increase measure, thereby sending it to voters, who rejected it. Moroski’s wife, Encie, is campaign manager for Bailey.

Brommer is a resident of Roaming Shores and owns an auto repair business in Jefferson. This is his second run for a county position. In 2010, he unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Roger Corlett for the auditor’s position.

The candidate did not respond to the Star Beacon’s request for information/interview.

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