Lisa Stickan Unseats Rob Frost As Cuyahoga County GOP Leader
Cuyahoga County Republicans have unseated longtime party chairman Rob Frost, electing Lisa Stickan as the first woman to serve as the county GOP’s leader.
Stickan, a former chairwoman of the Young Republican National Federation, is the president of Highland Heights City Council and a 2020 convention delegate for President Trump. She won nearly two thirds of the vote among county central committee members, defeating Frost 206-113.
Stickan told ideastream Thursday that she wants to run competitive local races in the county.
“I think to be competitive is to really drill down into our local communities, to really focus on the municipality, our central committee seats, our council members, our mayors, to really get organized and to field the best candidates we can,” Stickan said.
Democrats outnumber Republicans in Cuyahoga County, and the GOP hasn’t succeeded in winning the county executive’s seat since voters created the position in 2009. County Republicans didn’t field a candidate this year to challenge Prosecutor Michael O’Malley, the Democratic incumbent.
Still, Republicans hold judgeships, state legislative seats and other elected positions across Cuyahoga County. Republican donors in the Cleveland area contribute substantially to state and national candidates.
Stickan said she also wants to work on online campaigning ahead of the November presidential election, as pandemic precautions get in the way of traditional in-person canvassing.
“All the campaigns, on both sides of the aisle here, are readjusting to how to properly campaign with everything going on in terms of COVID and whether or not to do door-to-door, how to engage voters in a different way,” she said. “And this is where technology’s important.”
Frost, who has served as the county party chairman since 2005, said he supports the decision of the party’s committee members.
“It’s part of our process in how you run a political party,” Frost said. “And we’ve got some great grassroots energy behind our candidate this year. And those candidates now have a younger dynamic woman as their leader, and she’s got my support.”
One current race on the GOP’s radar is Ohio State House District 6, where Shay Hawkins is challenging Democratic State Rep. Phil Robinson.
In 2018, Robinson defeated Republican candidate Jim Trakas, flipping the suburban district that runs from Broadview Heights to Mayfield Village, along the county’s southern and eastern edge. Term limits prevented the GOP incumbent, State Rep. Marlene Anielski, from running again.
The results of this week’s vote among Republicans means women will lead both major parties in the county. County Councilwoman Shontel Brown won election as chair of the county Democratic Party in 2018.
The shakeup comes on the heels of the Ohio Republican Party’s vote to censure former state party chairman Matt Borges, who now leads a super PAC supporting Joe Biden over Trump.
Asked about the tension between new GOP leaders and old ones, Frost said he hoped that it didn’t play a role in the county party’s leadership vote.
“I would hope there’s no hangover or carryover from that,” Frost said. “We all have the same goal in mind this November, and we’re going to be working together to achieve it.”