DeWine Out as Ohio GOP Chairman

As Bytor just noted, Kevin DeWine has submitted his resignation as Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party:

DeWine, 44, has prepared a letter to the 66 members of the GOP state central committee, saying he will step down when the party’s governing body meets to reorganize on April 13.

Joe Hallett of The Columbus Dispatch remains fixated on Kasich’s insistence that DeWine step down, painting DeWine as the victim in a nefarious Kasich power play. At Third Base Politics, GOHP Blog, and elsewhere, we’ve listed more than a few reasons Ohio conservatives wanted DeWine out, but oh well. We’re not the first conservative bloggers to be ignored by the local paper!

To his credit, Hallett does mention Governor Kasich and Speaker Batchelder’s complaints about DeWine… in the next-to-last paragraph:

Kasich and his allies, including House Speaker William G. Batchelder, a Medina Republican, complained that DeWine was a divisive leader who showed favoritism to certain Republican candidates and elected officials and hostility to others.

There are two ways of looking at this story, which seems to be approaching an overdue conclusion:

  1.  In the Dispatch version, touted by dwindling numbers of DeWine loyalists, Kasich is a whiny grump who wants to control everything. This telling is also popular among Democrats, who are fighting internally over whether the contemptible Chris “Tea Party F***ers” Redfern should remain their chairman.
  2. As Bytor and I have tried to convey, there were serious issues with DeWine’s chairmanship before the governor asked him to step down in 2010. We don’t know who the ORP State Central Committee will choose in his place, but DeWine’s public dust-up with Kasich and Batchelder proved he was not the man for the job.

Whatever the backstory, DeWine’s response to the March election bounced from “I won” to “I won but I won’t run for reelection in 2013,” to “the party is more important so I’m resigning immediately, even though I won” in less than a month. History may prove us wrong for siding with Governor Kasich, but the argument that DeWine is loved by all save a few angry rubes has completely dissolved.

Now the State Central Committee will have the difficult task of choosing a new chairman. In the meantime…

Former Ohio GOP Chairman Robert T. Bennett, 73, is poised to come out of retirement to lead the party, at least on an interim basis. He is expected to take over at the April 13 meeting.

Bennett, the most successful party chairman in state history, was an intermediary in the past week between DeWine and Kasich allies, including Beth Hansen, Kasich’s chief of staff, and former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson of Reynoldsburg.

I commend Kevin DeWine’s decision to step down and end this ugly chapter of ORP history; now let’s get back to work. Barack Obama will be punching below the belt, especially in Ohio – and you know wherever there are Progressive economic fallacies pushed with Big Labor money and media complicity, Sherrod Brown is never far away!

For Kevin DeWine’s complete resignation letter, see Ohio Capital Blog.

Follow Jason on Twitter: @jasonahart

13 thoughts on “DeWine Out as Ohio GOP Chairman”

  1. Bennett will be a good choice for the near term. Should not be the permanent choice, but I can support him to make the trains run on time,

  2. Joe Hallett is a born and bred Toledo Democrat who will never let his own biases get in the way of a good story. He was a perfect fit for the paranoia-driven Toledo Blade and its even more paranoid owner; the Dispatch, not so much.

    Glad to see this ugly saga come to an end, though, because it just gave more fuel to the brain dead libs out there who hate the very air Kasich breathes.

  3. What we find troubling though is that Kasich (at least according to the media stories we’ve read==PD/DaytonDN/Col. Dispatch)is being made to look like it’s his fault/the villian that DeWine is out.

    How about giving the sources like 3BP,etc. credit for educating the voters about what was going on in the ORP; giving credit to the OH voters for understanding the problem and then doing something about it and voting out a good majority of DeWine’s cohorts in the Central Cmtte. Kasich and DeWine had their problems, but it was not because Kasich forced him out;it was Ohio’s electorate who made that decision.

  4. I think conservatives of all stripes and actual republicans can be very thankful it turned out this way. I believe that the Tea Party was anathama to Kevin DeWine — and the feeling was mutual–IMO. But the Tea Party rebellion that elected scores of Republican at all levels of government in 2010 was a success story that DeWine could claim as proof of his “leadership”. All very maddening. But in the end we seem to have reached a much better position than I would have dared hope for a year ago. I agree blogs like 3BP were a big part of dodging this bullet!

    1. The Tea Party folks couldn’t stand DeWine and he felt likewise. DeWine stole the Tea Party logo and attached it to his liberal candidates to fool the voting public, ie John Husted and a bunch of Central Committee candidates. As for Bob Bennett, he taught DeWine every trick in the book. Bennett was responsible for keeping Voinovich and Boob Taft around, and his lack of support to Ken Blackwell helped Strickland win.

    2. Not exactly a ringing endorement of Bob Bennett I guess. I hope Kasich knows what he is doing and then can influence the process. In our house we got almost physically ill at the mentionn of the word “DeWine”. I certainly agree with you about Husted and the rest of that crowd supported by DeWine. For example, why hasn’t Ohio joined the law suite against Obama care?!

    3. Sorry about that! Now that you mention it I do recall that! I guess I’m still too irritated that he became the AG candidate — obviously hoping to run for the top of the ticket when they succeeded in destroying Kasich’s creditility…..
      Ohio is a great example of what Rush was talking about today – RINO’s have blown the massive sea change in goverment at all levels that happened in 2010. Instead of thanking the Tea Party voters they trashed them, neutralized the chances for postive and effective change and created demoralizing gridlock — now who knows what will happen in 2012?
      I actually regret all the hours I put in calling voters for Boehner — he is a classic example. He blew a huge chance at opposing Obama by trying to cut deals with him. He is a decent man at heart but he was also the WRONG man and was the biggest dissapointment of 2010 election in my opinion.

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