In 1974, Everyone Wanted to Be a Congressman...


1| George E. Mastics:
When Mastics lost the election, he left his private law practice and moved his wife and five kids to Florida. He joined a law firm in the Palm Beach area. “I still firmly believe that if Dennis [Kucinich] had not been in the race, I would have firmly beaten Ron [Mottl],” he recalls, noting that Kucinich, running as an Independent, netted more Republican votes than Democratic votes. In hindsight, he’s glad. These days, he’s commissioner of the Port of Palm Beach, an elected position he has held three times.

2| J. William Petro:
Deceased. A U.S. district attorney from 1982 to 1984, he was fired amid allegations that he leaked confidential information, according to The brother of Jim Petro, who served most recently as the Ohio Attorney General from 2003 to 2007, William died May 23, 2002.

3| Jack Hruby.
Deceased. At 24, Jack Hruby was the youngest mayor elected in Cuyahoga County. He served as Brecksville’s mayor until his death in 1986 from leukemia. His brother, Jerry Hruby, the current mayor of Brecksville, says that race was the only election Jack ever lost. “Some people said they wouldn’t vote for him [for Congress] because they wanted him to stay mayor of Brecksville,” says Jerry. “If Jack were alive today, he’d still be mayor of Brecksville. The town loved him.”

4| James Celebrezze:
Celebrezze has served the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division off and on (right now he’s on) for the past 24 years. What does he remember about that 1974 election? “I lost,” he laughs. The former Brook Park law director (1975-’78) and judge has also practiced law off the bench (1986-’90). And in an odd twist, Celebrezze’s father-in-law, a widower, married 1974 opponent Bohdan Futey’s mother when she was widowed.

5| Raymond R. Demczyk:
Jack Hruby, his good friend who was running on the Republican side, talked Demczyk into running on the Democratic ticket. The Brecksville resident and RCA salesman swore off politics after the vote, remaining with RCA until it was sold to GE. About 10 years ago, he moved to Florida. “That was probably the first time in 100 years there wasn’t a Demczyk in Brecksville,” he says. “My grandparents had farmed there.”

6| Ronald M. Mottl:
He won! A state senator who had ushered the Ohio Lottery through the General Assembly, Mottl served as congressman under the Ford, Carter and Reagan administrations from 1975 to 1982.

“That was the goal that I had aspired to ... since I was a kid,” Mottl says. “It took me three times to get there, so it was very much appreciated.” Mottl returned to his law practice in 1982 and worked as a special assistant to the president of the Cleveland Indians. He served as president of the Parma School Board for a year, then returned to the state legislature. This year he celebrates his 50th year of practicing law.

He and son Ron work at the Mottl and Mottl firm in Parma. He reflects fondly on his political accomplishments, but admits the best time of his life was as an athlete at Parma High School. A ’52 graduate, he received the Cleveland Touchdown Trophy for the Most Valuable Player as the school’s quarterback. His record of 25 rebounds in a basketball game still stands at Parma High, and he went to Notre Dame on a baseball scholarship.

7| Andrew C. Putka:
Putka was Cleveland’s finance director. Then, from 1974 to ’77, he served as Cleveland’s director of port control, which oversaw Hopkins and Burke Lakefront airports and even the yacht clubs.

After leaving as ports director, he went into private law practice. “But I’m giving serious consideration to retiring,” says Putka, a life member of the board of trustees for Notre Dame College since 1968.

8| Arthur Shinn:
Not located. Shinn was an aerospace engineer at the time he ran for Congress. We said he was with “the Terex Division of General Motors in Hudson.” However, Terex never had an aerospace division and a longtime employee who keeps track of past employees doesn’t recall an Arthur Shinn. Calls to Goodyear Aerospace and NASA Glenn Research Center also turned up nothing.

9| Robert E. Sweeney:
Deceased. A former congressman-at-large, Sweeney went on to be a Cuyahoga County Commissioner from 1976 to 1980. He was also one of the first attorneys to bring lawsuits against asbestos manufacturers. He died June 30, 2007.

10| Hugh J. Gallagher:
Not located. At the time, Gallagher owned a firm that made political campaign materials, but he seems to have vanished from the Cleveland political scene.

11| Arthur L. Cain:
Not located. Cain, a lawyer and member of the Strongsville school board, helped ban books from the school library. Although the head of the Strongsville alumni association remembers the banned books controversy, neither he nor anyone at the current board could tell us what happened to him.

12| Bohdan Futey:
Futey never made it to Congress, but he passes it every day as he commutes to work from his home in Annapolis, Md. His Justice Department office looks out at the White House. In 1975, he ran for mayor of Parma but lost. He was a partner in the law firm of Bazarko, Futey & Oryshkewych until 1984, when he was appointed to chair the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission in Washington, D.C. In 1987, President Reagan nominated him to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

“Becoming a federal judge is the culmination of a legal career,” Futey says. But it took some adjustment. “When you go on the bench, it’s like being in a monastery — you’re devoid from politics completely. You cannot attend political events. You cannot donate funds to politicians. You cannot mingle with politicians. For a while, I felt like
what am I doing here?
But I enjoy it very much, and I would not exchange it for anything.”

Since 1990, he has participated in the “Rule of Law” program, where he teaches people in the Ukraine, Russia and Latin America about American law. Recently he took “senior status” on the court, meaning that after 20 years on the bench, he gets to reduce his docket.

13| William Maloof:
Though Maloof didn’t actually end up on the ballot for the ’74 race, he remembers it well. “I was campaigning to go back to the Gold Standard,” he says. “My fear was families and institutions would lose their value.” He has stayed out of politics, serving on the Board of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. “My highlights in the past years are being a father and grandfather,” he says.

14| Dennis J. Kucinich:
Ah, Dennis. His life can’t possibly be contained in a few short sentences — check out the full story on page 126.
In 1974, Everyone Wanted To Be A
hen Rep. Bill Minshall of the 23rd District announced he wouldn’t run again for Congress in 1974, 14 people jumped in the race. One of them (not even the winner) is now campaigning for president, but we wondered whatever happened to the rest.
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