Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges is boasting that he will retain his grip on the state party, but he is facing a big backlash from grassroots at the county party levels. Despite spending a fortune to stack the State Central Committee with loyalists, Borges is facing a very credible challenge from Stark County Vice Chair Jane Timken.
Borges’ opposition to President-elect Donald Trump for most of the general election has cost the Chairman quite a bit of support. As the sitting Chair, he should have the support of all the statewide elected officials. Worse than that, only three county parties have met and voted on endorsing in this race. All three endorsed Jane Timken. Matt Borges has collected a grand total of four lonely votes between all three county party committees.
Geauga County Chair Nancy McArthur sent out an email detailing the party’s support for Timken, who handily won this contest.
“Jane Timken has served as the Stark County Vice Chairman for the past six years and understands what it takes to win elections. Jane was loyal to President-elect Trump; she raised more than $1M and played a leadership role in a target county for the campaign. Jane has no conflicts of interest and she is committed to serving the GOP—not a specific candidate, officeholder, or lobbying client.
Jane brings fresh ideas on how to finance and grow our Republican Party. She believes the State Central Committee should have a more active role in developing strategic plans for the ORP and the state party should provide more support for local county parties, elected officials, and candidates. Jane knows how to raise money and win elections. She has the support of President-elect Trump and will be the Chair that can unite the party and help us to work together at the local, state, and national levels.”
After some deliberation as to whether or not the Committee should do an endorsement, a motion was made and voted on unanimously by the Committee to vote for either Matt Borges, Jane Timken, or not to endorse.
A paper ballot was taken and the following votes were recorded:
No endorsement: 10
Matt Borges: 4
Jane Timken: 41
Three of the four State Central Committee men and women were present at the meeting — Mary O’Toole, Casey O’Brien, and Scott Kayser. Melissa Pope was not in attendance. After the meeting, Chairman McArthur notified all four of them about the meeting’s results along with the following message: “It is our hope, as our Party Representatives in Columbus, that you will take our endorsement into consideration and vote accordingly for Jane Timken for our Ohio Republican Party Chairman on January 6th.”
The Huron County Republican Party actually unanimously endorsed Timken. The press release cites communication and hostility from Borges during the campaign, but also highlights Timken’s qualifications.
Huron County Republican Party unanimously endorses Jane Murphy Timken for Chair of the Ohio Republican Party
NORWALK – The Huron County Republican Party Executive Committee voted unanimously Thursday to endorse Jane Murphy Timken for Chair of the Ohio Republican Party.
“After speaking with Jane Murphy Timken, it is obvious she is the best choice to unify the State GOP,” Huron County Republican Executive Committee Chair Rob Duncan said after the meeting. “She is committed to working with grassroots Republican efforts and to communicate what is going on at the state level with local county officials. She is the right candidate and the right time.”
A lively discussion with the 13th Senate District State Central Committee members Joyce Houck and David J. Moore centered on current Chair Matt Borges and his lack of communication with local party officials and with his lack of support for Republican President-Elect Donald J. Trump during the campaign season. Many members voiced their displeasure with the actions of Borges and his team during the past several months and believe now is the time to make a change in party leadership.
When contacted by Duncan after the vote, Timken said she was humbled and thankful for the show of support. She reiterated her commitment to local party chapters as they are the first level where elections take place.
Devoted to the Republican Party and to Ohio, Timken currently serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Stark County Republican Party. She is responsible for fundraising efforts for the Party and candidates, recruiting candidates, volunteer engagement, campaign logistics, ground game operations, election day planning, and implementation of strategy.
Timken is a graduate, cum laude, of Harvard College, where she received the John Harvard Scholarship for Academic Achievement and the Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Certificate of Merit. She played for the Radcliffe Rugby Football Club.
She received her J.D, summa cum laude, from The American University, Washington College of Law, Washington, D.C., graduating in the top 10% of her class, and serving as a Note & Comment Editor of The Administrative Law Journal of the American University.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Jane lives in Stark County, Ohio with her husband W.J. Timken, Jr. (Tim) Chairman, CEO, President of TimkenSteel. She has two children, Henry and Emma. She plays competitive USTA tennis, and enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling.
Williams County also unanimously endorsed Jane Timken. Outgoing Chairman Brian Davis and incoming Chairwoman Patti Rockey sent out an email stating such.
“The Williams County Republican Party voted unanimously to endorse Mrs. Jane Timken for Chairperson of the Ohio Republican Party. We believe it is time for new leadership and vision with a focus on unifying our party.”
The abrasive attitude of Matt Borges has create a serious divide between the state party and the local activists. This is a serious problem for a political party concerned with staying relative. These are the people who knock on doors, who make phone calls and organize events at the local levels. They are the backbone of the party. They proved this election cycle that they could do the heavy lifting without the state party. And now they are looking to toss Borges to the wind and replace him with Timken.
Timken is a very credible candidate as she is a bridge between the finance and grassroots sides of the party. She has the connections to fundraise and as the Stark County GOP Vice Chair, she has the understanding and knowledge that is associated with being involved at the local level.