August 21, 2014

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Tea party activist replaces candidate for Lorain Council

LORAIN — Randy Newman has spent the past few years grousing about government’s inability to get its finances under control. Now the leader of the Lorain County 47th Tea Party will try to move from the audience to the table.

Newman

Newman

Last week, Lorain Republicans named the 60-year-old Newman as their candidate in the race for Lorain’s 7th Ward City Council seat, currently held by Democrat Mickey Silecky.

Newman replaces Brittany Gilmartin, who dropped out to join the military, according to Lorain County Republican Party Chairwoman Helen Hurst.

Newman, who described himself as a staunch fiscal conservative, said Monday he’s eager to get down to the business of government and rein in the out-of-control spending he sees.

“The main thing I see is the city wasting money,” Newman said. “I want spending control.”

Newman said he’s no stranger to politics or elected office, having served as a school board member for four years in the 1990s while he was living in Georgia. He said he’s willing to put in the effort to win, although he acknowledged that he has a lot of work to do to claim a Council seat as a Republican in the traditionally Democratic Lorain.

His example, he said, is Lorain County Commissioner Tom Williams, a Republican who defeated the well-known Democratic former state legislator Joe Koziura in November.

“You’ve got to get out there and pound the pavement,” Newman said. “There’s 1,100 households in this ward, and I plan on knocking on the doors of almost every one of them.”

Hurst, who has clashed with Newman in the past over his efforts to install tea party members in vacant Republican precinct committee seats, said Newman has her full support. At the time he was attempting to fill the vacancies Newman was still a registered Democrat.

“I have no problem with him running,” Hurst said. “He is a registered Republican and he lives in the ward and it’s his privilege as a voter.”

Newman said he too holds no ill will toward Hurst and said he had voted as a Democrat in previous elections as part of an effort to defeat U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Copley Township.

He said he’s content for now to wait until the new precinct committee people are voted in next year.

Hurst said the party has decided not to fill any vacancies until the Lorain County Board of Elections, of which she is a member, has completed redrawing precincts around the county.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.