Ted Strickland is only adding to the disarray that is the Ohio Democratic Party

ted_stricklandEven for campaign cycles that were already ridiculously long, Ted Strickland has already come out as the early and established candidate to challenge successful Senator Rob Portman (sorry PG). As if his embarrassing loss to John Kasich in 2010 was not enough of a wake-up call to Ted Strickland that it was time to fade into the background, he has decided that 2016 is a great time to remind the state just how irrelevant he is as a candidate. His total lack of standing with voters in the state can be felt the most in his former Congressional District: although lines have changed slightly since his departure, the 6th congressional district is still largely the same as it was when Strickland represented it from 1993–1995 and 1997–2007.

Democrats lost the district in 2010 after the GOP had a lively primary, and have failed to recapture it since.

This sort of district used to be the Democrat’s bread and butter before their total selling out on the working & middle class and their capitulation to the super-liberal and eco-terrorists on the left. Many in the middle class have ignored this; the same cannot be said for the people of this district. Coal workers and other working people in the 6th have recognized the Democrats have abandoned them, all the while Ted Strickland watched and did nothing. For the past two cycles the Ohio Democratic Party has put up legitimate candidates to challenge current Congressman Bill Johnson; in 2012 it was a do-over with Johnson’s 2010 opponent former Congressman Charlie Wilson (who sadly passed away in 2013) and in 2014 against former State Representative Jennifer Garrison. Johnson received 53% of the vote in 2012 and 58% in 2014.

A great history lesson, but what does this have to do with Ted Strickland?

It is November 11th, 2015. Because we are going into a presidential year our primary will be in March. Candidates are required to file petitions to run for office by December 15th. As of today there is no word on a Candidate to run as a Democrat against Congressman Bill Johnson. If Ted is some sort of man of the people, a popular politician (at least within his own party), then why can’t he help find a candidate on his home turf?

So as a fun recap let’s review this situation. The Democrats lost Ted Strickland’s old Congressional District in 2010 when Ted was at the top of the ticket running for re-election for Governor. They continued to lose again in 2012 and 2014. And now the Democrats are looking to put Ted at the top of the ticket AGAIN to run against Rob Portman for Senate, while now the Democrats can’t even FIND someone to run for Ted’s old congressional seat.

I think this leads to a logical conclusion: although it’s a catchy little branding by the Portman campaign to call Ted Strickland “Retread Ted”, I think it’s dishonest. In reality the whole Democratic Party in Ohio is one big Retread and Ted Strickland is only a symptom of a sickness.

Brawl in the Ohio 8th: Roger Reynolds to run for Boehner’s seat

RogerReynoldsWhile the fight for John Boehner’s position as Speaker of the House will undoubtedly continue to heat up nationally, many in Ohio are looking to the Southwest part of the state as congressional hopefuls have already started to line up to fill Boehner’s congressional seat. So far, State Representative Bill Beagle, former Boehner primary challenger J.D. Winteregg, and now Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds have thrown their hats in to the ring to replace Boehner. Surely another notable name or two (Steve Austria might want to head back to Congress?) will announce before Halloween.

Of the three who have already announced, today’s announcement by Roger Reynolds is the most interesting.

Back on September 30th, Mr. Reynolds opened a campaign account, but stated that he had not yet made a final decision to run. Between then and today Reynolds has undoubtedly been rallying supporters and financial backers as this special election will be costly for any serious contender. Reynolds has a strong and unique case for why voters should choose him: he has been three elected times to the post of Auditor in Butler County due to his strong fiscal record. With the public’s continual disapproval of congress and it’s handling the nation’s purse, many voters will look to a public official who has a visible track record of keeping government spending under control. Mr. Reynolds’s  fiscal responsibility was awarded back in 2013 with an “Award With Distinction for excellence in financial reporting” from State Auditor Dave Yost.

Reynolds highlighted his fiscal credentials during his announcement speech on Wednesday morning outside his newly opened campaign headquarters in Liberty Township:

“The tax and spend culture of Washington D.C. has led us to a national debt of more than $19 trillion , which serves as a great burden for my children, your children, and a generation to come. The fact of the matter is the people of the 8th district deserve a representative in Congress with proven financial and private sector experience, a track record of making tough decisions, and most importantly a blueprint for success.”

Beyond the three who have announced intentions to run, several have already announced their intentions to pass on this opportunity.

State Representatives Wes Retherford and Bill Coley have already announced they have no intention of running for this seat along with Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones. It was Sheriff Jones who back in 2014 sent a $900,000 invoice to Mexican President Enrique Pena Niet for his office’s processing of illegal immigrants inside of Butler County. Maybe Sheriff Jones is waiting on an invitation from Donald Trump to be his Vice President?

While the field of who is not running is colorful, the field of actual contenders is even more so.

At this point with the three announced candidates there is an interesting variety of GOP contenders: the Establishment Candidate in Senator Bill Beagle, the Tea-Party Candidate in J.D Winteregg, and the professional, results-driven candidate in Auditor Roger Reynolds. Which of these has the credentials and experience to actually make a splash in Washington?

The Second Republican Debate: Three Candidates That Stood Out

The second Republican Presidential Debate occurred last night with much controversy and lively debate to no one’s surprise. We all suffered through three long hours to hear each candidate make their case for being the Republican Nominee for President in 2016. This debate was important to every single candidate there for obvious reasons but was also put into another context; the dropout of a highly qualified primary contender just days before. Rick Perry’s sudden (although not unexpected) leave of the primary contest gave this debate further importance by raising the question: who’s next?

I think the performance of three candidates plays into this question.

At the debate three candidates in particular stood out to me on their performance: Senator Rubio, Governor Christie, and Donald Trump. When comparing these three the first phrase that came to mind was “the good, the bad, and the ugly”. Although humorous, I do not believe this is a fair or accurate portrayal. Instead let’s label these as: The Statesman, The Unexpected Rising Star, and The Burning Debris.

Senator Marco Rubio is the Statesman. Senator Rubio showed great poise, attitude, grace, and a fantastic foreign policy knowledge. Senator Rubio has a compelling personal story, fantastic knowledge, and a dynamic personality.

Governor Christie is the Unexpected Rising Star. Governor Christie showed passion, security, and received greater attention than previously. Governor Christie has an impressive resume, strong national security credentials, and a strong personality.

Donald Trump is the Burning Debris. Trump was shown to be nasty, taken to task by several other candidates, and received less and less speaking time as the night progressed. Trump went to battle at the debate with Fiorina, Bush, well almost everyone on the stage. He lost almost every battle.

There were other minor parts that it seemed like others on the stage were also auditing for during the debate. Governor Huckabee and Ben Carson wanted to be the Great Peacemaker, Governor Kasich and Governor Bush the Great Moderate, and Governor Walker and Senator Paul the Great Snooze. Carly Fiorina was the Mighty Trump Slayer. Ted Cruz voted Present. However, these niches will not last.

The polls in the next two weeks will be crucial for each candidate. Outside of the three candidates first mentioned the rest of the crowd did not stand out. Although blending into the background is better than the beginning of self-destruction that Donald Trump began tonight, it is not a winning strategy.