ODP Chair Chris Redfern Profiled
There's a good read in the Cleveland Plain Dealer today - a lengthy front-page profile of Rep. Chris Redfern (D-Catawba Island), Ohio's brash and energetic state Democratic party leader. One thing that caught my attention was that Redfern recruited a slate of about ten candidates to run for intra-party offices last May against established party insiders, many of whom opposed Redfern's election as state party chair. Most of them lost. The incident reveals a strikingly aggressive dimension to Redfern's political ambition, but also the practical limits to his ability to consolidate power in the notoriously fragmented state party apparatus.
Another significant item: last week Redfern gained a seat on the national Democratic party's executive committee. This will help him shape the presidential race in the Buckeye State in 2008, and lends weight to the suggestion by reporter Mark Naymik in this week's podcast on the Cleveland Plain Dealer blog Openers that Redfern's future may be in national rather than state politics.
The article also details an intramural spat between Redfern and the Senate campaign of Sherrod Brown (R-Avon). Redfern told the New York Times less than a week after Brown won the primary last May that national Democrats should "focus on the governor's race above all" because it was the Democrats' best chance of success in the fall. Brown campaign manager John Ryan complained angrily about the remark, saying it could scare off donors, but Redfern refused to back down.
Overall an interesting article that captures Redfern's dynamic but brusque personal style very well.
Labels: Chris Redfern