I *thought* we had a two-party system ...

So, if you go to a fight, and only one fighter shows up, is it really a fight? One team can't play itself in a real game, can it? Because, from what I've been told, it takes at least two to tango, right? 

Unless you're in Mahoning County and running for election, or re-election, and are a Democrat.

I voted yesterday (Oct 29th), early, because I can, and because I hate craziness of Election Day, and, yeah, I'm probably going to be busy at work that day and would hate to miss my chance to vote. 

So I voted early. Because I live in a forward-thinking state that allows it, despite the GOP's rampant hatred of it and attempts to get rid of it.  The same GOP, I might add, that barely registered a blip on the scale here on my ballot here in Mahoning County. 

And after I voted, I was hot pissed. 

It had nothing to do with the ghetto-fabulous iron-on hoodie the woman voting behind me had. It was a full back piece montage of President Obama's family portrait, with the White House in the background, and Presidential crest and script writing; nor was it the way she smelled, which Allison said was very ripe. 

I was hot pissed because I felt like I was voting in a third-world country that was lead by a dictator or monarch and had 'elections' to prove the people wanted that kind of leadership.

Because my ballot had a lot of uncontested races. Because the Republicans in Mahoning County apparently decided to sit this one out.

Oh, they were there in the national races, and the statewide races, but there were a total of EIGHT races where there wasn't a single bit of opposition to Democratic candidate. Add in the lack of a Republican challenger in the County Recorder's race, and you have nine local races the Republicans didn't have a candidate. 

Yeah, seriously ... NINE races the Grand Old Party didn't have anyone on the ballot

Didn't. Even. Try.

Granted, I know the Mahoning Valley, and Mahoning County, are as blue as blue gets in Northeastern Ohio. I once made a joke when I was a newspaper reporter covering the Niles City Council how there were seven white, male, Italian Democrats on council, and one white, male, Republican as Council President, with a white, male, Italian Democrat for Mayor and another for police chief, because Niles is diverse ... meaning they have both Northern *and* Southern Italians in government in elected and appointed positions.

But that was 20 years ago. Apparently, nothing's changed.

I can't believe that the entire Republican Party in Mahoning County couldn't do better than fielding five candidates ... one person to run for County Commissioner; three in State House of Representative races (and one without) and one County Commissioner candidate. FIVE local Republicans had the stones to step up for the WHOLE COUNTY. Five.

Of the five Republicans, I'd only heard of two ... Marisha Agana and Kim Poma. Agana ran against Tim Ryan in the 13th Congressional District. Apparently she had two things she thought would help her win: 1 - Ryan's Pro Choice; 2 - Ryan voted with his party's President. Nothing of note in either of those is going to sway any votes, but at least she showed up and ran a campaign. She'll get smarter and run better next time. I have no idea what Poma stood for, because I'm not in her district, but again, at least she tried. I saw signs, I saw commercials, I know she's heavy into education, and that's good. Smart candidates make smart leaders. I wish I could have voted for her, or someone, other than the choices I had ... which were NONE AT ALL.

Because in NINE LOCAL RACES, the GOP didn't even bother trying. All of these candidates ran  unopposed:

Robert Hagan - Ohio House - 58th District
Anthony Traficanti - Mahoning County Commissioner
Paul Gaines - Mahoning County Prosecuting Attorney
Anthony Vivo - Mahoning County Common Pleas Clerk
Jerry Greene - Mahoning County Sheriff
Daniel Yemma - Mahoning County Treasurer
Patrick Ginnetti - Mahoning County Engineer
David Kennedy - Mahoning County Coroner

At least Jim Villani from the Green Party ran in the County Recorder's race to give us an option. So I voted for him. And for the record, as far as the opposed County Commissioner seat, I voted for the non-party guy, because he was the ONLY person who bothered to show up in the rain and discuss his campaign. He earned my vote. And he's a Marine, and could probably kill me and had a porn-star mustache, so there's that. But I will say that Ed Goldner showed up in person, and on the ballot, so he got my vote. (See, I'm not straight-ticket. That's one Green Party, one no-party.)

I guess what I'm trying to say, Republicans, is until your party decides to step up locally and show some balls locally, I think all of my Republican friends should stick to talking about national and state-wide elections, because you had the chance to stand up locally, but since you have no dog in the fights at the County level ... so don't tell me how bad the County is run, m'kay? Step up and run or shut up and take it.

Oh, and for the rest of you, remember, go vote. Even if you don't have local choices like me, you still have a voice nationally.