Elyria Chronicle Photo
The Republicans aren’t the only party in Ohio with a struggle within the state party. Anthony Giardini is expected to become the new chairman of the Democratic Party here in my home county of Lorain, and he is challenging Redfern for his job.
“We had a disastrous 2010. We lost every statewide office,” Giardini said. “We lost 13 seats in the Ohio House, more than ever before. That’s not necessarily all Chris’ fault, but I don’t think he has acknowledged any responsibility.”
Giardini also noted that Redfern is running for the 89th Ohio House District seat being vacated by Dennis Murray of Sandusky.
“That’s a problem,” Giardini said. “A state representative has to serve the interests of all the people, not just Democrats or Republicans. His duties as a representative could be in potential conflict with his party duties.”
Labor union leader Kenny Holland also criticized Redfern, and has sent a letter to the entire ODP state central committee, urging them to vote against him in next month’s election.
In his letter, Holland said his union lacks confidence in Redfern after the “devastating defeat in the 2010 elections” in which Democrats lost the governor’s race and the four other statewide executive offices, both houses of the General Assembly, and the Ohio Supreme Court.
“Two years earlier in 2008,” Holland wrote, “the Ohio Laborers withdrew its financial support for the state party because, in our judgment, the chairman lacked sensitivity to our concerns and failed to exhibit the maturity necessary to lead an organization as diverse and challenging as the state party. There’s something about the losses of 2010 to suggest that this is so, and that he bears significant responsibility for 2010 whether he acknowledges it or not.”
This internal fight didn’t spring up overnight. It has been brewing since the 2010 elections. Notice the difference, though, between how Redfern handled things, and how Kevin DeWine has responded to criticisms within the ORP. Redfern never took the squabble public like DeWine did. And he didn’t come out and attack fellow Democratic state leaders. As immature as Redfern is, he kept it private for the good of his party.
Now is a great time, while the Democrats now have to deal with a public power struggle, to replace Kevin DeWine with someone who is loyal and can unite Ohio Republicans heading into the crucial elections. Let’s hope Kevin sees the light and steps down, or that the state central committee replaces him soon.