(Image Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Just got a call from a Democratic source that Franklin County Democratic Party Chairman Bill Anthony is resigning tonight. Literally, that’s all the source could give me. I don’t know why Anthony is resigning, nor why Schultz is presumed to take over.
Anthony is currently the Director of the Franklin County Board of Elections. In 2009, he temporarily resigned from the Board of Elections due to questions about the wisdom of having a county party chairman serve on the Board of Elections. However, in 2010, he was appointed back to the Board, unanimously, to be its Director again. The Columbus Dispatch story provides the full background.
Perhaps there is some legislation afoot to prohibit a county party chairman to serve as director of the Board of Elections and this is how to resolve it? The Ethics Commission advised him to not hold both? I dunno yet, but we’re working to get answers. As always, if you have a tip, please let us know.
[UPDATE:] Here’s the e-mail from Chairman Anthony announcing his resignation:
Dear Committee Members,
Effective March 1, 2011 at 6:00 p.m., I will be stepping down as chair of the Franklin County Democratic Party. I have enjoyed my tenure as chair and consider my time serving the party as some of the most rewarding experiences of my career. I have seen this county get Bluer and Bluer and I am confident that it will continue in that direction. Under my leadership and with the support of so many committed officerholders, volunteers, candidates, and, of course, all of our great elected and appointed committee members, we have done an incredible job of electing Democrats to office locally, statewide and nationally.
We have achieved many notable accomplishments since I have been chair: for starters, I became the first African American chair of the local party; we elected Lori Tyack the first Democratic Municipal Clerk in the 90-plus year history of the office; Jan Gorniak became the first ever Democratic Coroner in Franklin County; we won all three Franklin County Commission seats; we continue to hold onto the Franklin County Treasurer’s office; we helped the greatest mayor in the United States, Michael B. Coleman, get re-elected in 2003 and 2007; we have retained all seven seats on Columbus City Council since 2003; we have a Democratic majority on the Columbus School Board; and we elected an additional four members to the Ohio House of Representatives, despite the heavily-Republican gerrymandered districts.
While my term officially ends in 2012, I have decided that I will not seek re-election. Since we all know 2012 is the presidential election year, I believe it is prudent to step down now so that my successor can hit the ground running and focus on winning this year and building towards next year’s crucial races.
I am recommending to the committee that Greg Schultz replace me as Executive Committee chair. I think it is important that I leave the party in the hands of someone who has been instrumental in our success, and Greg is that person. He is currently the State Director for President Obama’s Organizing for America group and he is well-suited to take over the reins of the local party. I have worked with Greg on numerous elections throughout my tenure as both a vice chair and the chair of the party and I believe strongly that the party will be well-positioned to achieve even more with Greg at the helm.
Last but not least, I want to thank you for all of your support and guidance over the years. None of our successes with the local party would have been possible without the dedication, commitment, and passion of committee members like you.
William A. Anthony Jr., Chair
Franklin County Democratic Party
Just got off the phone with Greg Schultz who confirmed that he is running for Franklin County Party Chair, but wanted to wait until Chairman Anthony made his announcement before confirming.
Everyone I spoke to who lives in Franklin County tell me that while there might still be a contested race, nobody seems to doubt that Schultz will be nominated.
I got to know Greg during the ‘10 campaign. His energy is as infectious as his attention to detail is precise. The Franklin County Democratic Party would seem to be in great hands going into the 2012 elections with Greg at the helm.
And Chairman Anthony, we thank you for your long service and dedication to the Democratic Party. We wish you well.