ELYRIA — Lorain County Democrats will meet Tuesday to decide who will be the next county auditor.
Mark Stewart, who held the job for nearly two decades, retired at the end of 2012, and his chief deputy, Craig Snodgrass, has been named acting auditor and has long been considered to be Stewart’s heir apparent.
Democratic precinct committee members will decide who will serve out the remaining two years of Stewart’s term. Both Snodgrass and Lorain County Democratic Party Chairman Anthony Giardini said they aren’t aware of anyone else who has expressed an interest in Stewart’s old job.
But Giardini said he intends to exclude Lorain City Councilman Dennis Flores, D-2nd Ward, from taking part in the decision.
This won’t be the first time that Giardini and other Democrats have ousted Flores from a meeting based on his prior support of Republican candidates and interest in tea party politics.
Flores was removed from a Democratic meeting in August after he was accused of being a Republican spy after he signed up to receive information from a tea party group at the Lorain County Fair. Giardini wasn’t at that meeting, but said he supported the decision.
Giardini also actively urged Democrats to reject Flores’ bid for re-election as a precinct committeeman last year.
“In my opinion he has falsified his politics as a Democrat,” Giardini said.
He said Flores is welcome to vote however he wants in the privacy of a voting booth, but as a Democratic Party official, he has a responsibility to back Democratic candidates in public.
Flores said he wasn’t surprised by Giardini’s plan to try to keep him out of the meeting, which he said he was formally notified of and plans to attend.
“I’m not going to change what I do as far as politics and the Democratic Party,” Flores said. “I’m a Democrat, and if they don’t want to recognize me as one, I’ll deal with it.”
Snodgrass said he would leave the decision about whether Flores should participate in the meeting up to Giardini.
Lorain City Democratic Party Chairman Paul Adams called for Flores to resign from City Council last week after Flores was arrested Jan. 2 on DUI, driving under suspension and failure to control charges after he allegedly drove his van onto his neighbor’s snow-covered lawn.
Flores, who has said he intends to remain on the job, failed field sobriety tests but refused to take a breath test. He admitted to police that he had been driving the van and to drinking Christmas ale.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.