Several members of the Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee sent Third Base Politics an email from Treasurer Tracey Winbush. She is seeking to retain her position at Friday’s meeting.
There is one part of Winbush’s email that made it worth reporting, a crudely constructed balance sheet. Numbers aren’t personal. They are just numbers, but these numbers tell a tale. It shows a party that appears to be operating beyond its means and a Chairman who isn’t a prolific fundraiser.
There are several things that stand out in the numbers below. There are more questions than answers here and that is what members of the committee stated when they forwarded the email. Some of these members have been Borges loyalists but are now questioning their support.
Despite mentioning transparency in her email, Winbush didn’t respond to a message left by Third Base Politics.
There are some interesting things in this balance sheet that are worth pointing out. The party is over a million dollars in debt.
Bob Bennett passed away over two years ago, but the Ohio Republican Party is blaming $65,000 of debt on the former Chairman’s credit card.
An outstanding loan from Mary and Donzell Taylor eleven years ago still hasn’t been repaid. The party also hasn’t paid for $162k in legal and consulting fees from the 2010 election.
Prior Chairman Kevin DeWine paid off the mortgage, but under Chairman Borges’ leadership, there is almost half a million dollar mortgage and line of credit on the building.
Speaking of the building, the Ohio Republican Party has it valued just shy of $1.6 million. According to the Franklin County Auditor’s website, the building is assessed at $900,000.
The Ohio Republican Party still owes Quicken Loans Arena $165k for the first presidential debate in August 2015. This feels like someone who has a big expensive wedding without considering the financial destruction on the marriage.
The party and the Chairman were openly hostile to the Republican presidential nominee. In a letter to the State Central Committee, Member Dave Johnson exposed Borges’ behavior during the RNC. This likely impacted fundraising. Why would donors open their wallets to a party with a Chairman who is combative towards the nominee?
Matt Borges is claiming that rumors are being spread about him, but he can’t say that about this. These are simply numbers. Numbers sent out by his Treasurer. Numbers aren’t rumors. They are numbers. And the numbers likely won’t be on Team Borges’ side in Friday’s vote.
As Friday’s election for Ohio Republican Party Chair quickly approaches, Jane Timken just scored a very impressive endorsement list of over 40 Ohio County GOP Chairs. The Chairmen want a change in leadership at the Ohio Republican Party.
An Open Letter to the Ohio Republican State Committee
We know that every member of the Republican State Central Committee has been inundated by emails and phone calls regarding the current race for Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party. We understand that this is an important decision that no member of the Committee takes lightly. As County Republican Chairmen, however, we are respectfully urging that our input be thoughtfully considered by the Committee in making a final decision on this most important matter.
We not only believe that the views and sentiments of County Republican Chairmen ought to be considered by the Committee on such important matters as the election of a State Chairman, but that the Committee and most certainly the State Chairman ought to be absolutely unwavering in their support of all Republican nominees, at every level.
Clearly, though, this was NOT the case in the instance of our 2016 Republican presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump. Consequently, we are now in jeopardy of having the State Party be completely at odds with the new Trump Administration, as well as with the RNC itself. This is, quite obviously, an untenable if not wholly unacceptable situation which only you, the voting members of the State Committee, have the power to resolve.
It is with all of this in mind that we, the undersigned, are urging you to unite the State Party behind Jane Timken as our next State Republican Chairman. She has impeccable personal qualifications and unquestioned standing among the political, financial and elective leadership of our Party at the state and national level. As a geographically diverse mix of County Republican Chairmen from large, medium and small counties, we respectfully ask for the State Committee’s support of Jane Timken in the secret balloting that will occur on January 6th.
Sincerely yours (in alphabetical order),
Carolyn Adams – Ottawa County GOP Chairman
Audra Bean – Champaign County GOP Chairman
Sandy Barber – Fulton County GOP Chairman
Keith Boales – Ashland County GOP Chairman
Chuck Calvert – Medina County GOP Chairman
Elayne Cross – Portage County GOP Vice Chairman
Paulette Donley – Highland County GOP Executive Committee Chairman Brian Davis – Williams County (Outgoing) GOP Chairman
Rob Duncan – Huron County GOP Chairman
Charlie Frye – Ashtabula County GOP Chairman
Leslie Haas – Washington County GOP Chairman
Robin Hovis – Holmes County GOP Chairman
Steve Hall – Coshocton County GOP Chairman
Jon Hensler – Jackson County GOP Chairman
Helen Hurst – Lorain County GOP Chairman
Tim Inwood – Clinton County GOP Chairman
John Jones – Harrison County GOP Chairman David Johnson – Columbiana County GOP Chairman Steve Kryder – Henry County GOP Chairman Randy Law – Trumbull County GOP Chairman
Tom Liebrecht – Putnam County GOP Chairman Thad Lichtensteiger – Van Wert County GOP Chairman Jeff Matthews – Stark County GOP Chairman Nancy McArthur – Geauga County GOP Chairman Mark Munroe – Mahoning County GOP Chairman John “Bud” O’Brien – Miami County GOP Chairman Dan Osborne – Morrow County GOP Chairman
Patti Rockey – Williams County (Incoming) GOP Chairman Pere Seward – Monroe County GOP Chairman Lowell Shank – Former Henry County GOP Chairman Dean Sipe – Crawford County GOP Chairman Sherman Stansbery – Wyandot GOP Chairman Jason Stephens – Lawrence County GOP Vice Chairman Lynda Smith – Clark County GOP Chairman
Keith Threewits – Darke County GOP Chairman Dave Uible – Clermont County GOP Chairman
Doug Wills – Tuscarawus County GOP Chairman Bryan Williams – Summit County GOP Chairman Wayne York – Auglaize County GOP Chairman
Mike Young – Noble County GOP Chairman
Jerry Zielke – Paulding County GOP Chairman
Matt Borges released a list of 100 people who endorsed his re-election for Ohio Republican Party Chair, but he might have forgotten one important detail – to actually get the endorsements from the people he included.
There have been grumblings the last few days over people being on the list who never endorsed Borges, but one name stands out among them all – Lt. Governor Mary Taylor.
Taylor lives in southern Summit County, right on the border of Stark County where Timken lives, so this was an important catch for Borges. But someone with knowledge of the process says that the endorsement never was approved by Taylor
Prominent businessman Tony George told Third Base Politics that Taylor never issued an endorsement.
“They put out a list that isn’t accurate. An endorsement letter was put in front of Mary Taylor, She made the decision not to sign the letter.”
While it’s appalling to think Borges would do this to the Lt. Governor, it isn’t a stretch to believe. Kasich’s presidential campaign, which Matt Borges was obviously involved in, put out a list of Ohio endorsers without getting approval from some people who were delegates for other candidates.
George, who gave his time and his treasure to support John Kasich’s presidential run isn’t pleased with the way the Ohio Republican Party operated during the general election. He believes if Kasich is serious about working with President-elect Trump, he would ask Borges to step aside to dissipate the tension from the combative nature of the Chairman towards our then GOP nominee.
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.
Borges is trying to become the next RNC Chairman, but all he’s proven in the past couple of weeks is that he’s not ready for amateur hour.
There has been suspicion that the ORP has been using fake Twitter accounts to not only attack Democrats and the press but also other Republicans. And now there is proof!
Twitter will sync your contacts with their Twitter handles. And Ohio Republican Party Executive Director Katie Eagan contact card shows that she is running the account @BobPadoucheBag.
So, under the direction of Matt Borges, the Ohio Republican Party is attacking the Trump campaign. In case the Twitter account is deleted, a screenshot is below.
The ORP was outsmarted by a smart phone. Eagan’s attempt to smear Paduchik was exposed right through her contact card in an iPhone.
Another ORP alumni who recently worked for John Kasich’s Super Pac has been attacking Paduchik on Twitter also. Dave Luketic tweeted using the #ImWithMatt hashtag to disparage Paduchik as well. Except, Luketic probably should look at history as Paduchik successfully ran campaigns in 2000 and 2004 for Bush Cheney in Ohio and Rob Portman in 2010.
Matt Borges wants to be the next RNC Chair, but he is working against the nominee of the party that he chairs. This backhanded approach isn’t about “principles” because Trump is the nominee. This is about Borges’ quest for power and a future presidential run by John Kasich.
We cannot have a Chairman who works against Republicans and the grassroots activists of the party. Borges should resign as Ohio Republican Party Chairman and give up the quest for RNC Chairman.
The Trump campaign has officially tossed Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges to the wind. In a letter to the ORP State Central Committee members who vote for Chairman, Trump’s Ohio director, Robert Paduchik said that Borges no longer has a relationship with the campaign. In doing so, Paduchik has thrown a monkey wrench into Borges’ ambitious goals within the national party and caused him some trouble within the rank and file of Ohio Republicans.
This isn’t much of a shocker as Borges has spent that last couple of weeks on a media tour saying he isn’t sure he will even vote for the presidential nominee of the party which he chairs. Borges’ own wife told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “Trump was so bad, he made the dog throw up.”
While there are some people who aren’t enthused with the nominee, it is the job of the chairman to support him. Borges hasn’t gotten over the embarrassing failure of John Kasich’s campaign, so this really isn’t that shocking. Since Trump is a non traditional nominee, it has given Borges the opportunity to act publicly as he would privately. If Borges can’t do his job, he should resign. This isn’t a private citizen, this is the Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party. It is his job to support the nominee. If he can’t, then he should resign. But, taking a closer look at the situation will give you a better view of the agenda.
Borges instead is attempting to grab the mantle of the Never Trump movement and become the next RNC Chair. If Hillary Clinton is the next president, then Reince Priebus is out, so this is part of the reason why there is this backlash. What you are seeing publicly this year is the manipulation and gaming that typically goes on behind the scenes of the party. The only thing abnormal about it is that it is playing out in public. This is about power more than it is about doing what’s right.
Borges is a Kasich loyalist. Like Borges, Kasich has been plotting his next move. It’s apparent that he wants to run again. With Borges as the RNC Chair, perhaps a primary could be manipulated in Kasich’s favor.
Kasich and his hand picked chairman don’t seem to understand that Kasich’s prolonged vanity campaign helped Trump win the nomination by dividing the vote. It was obvious to anyone who wasn’t a Kasich supporter that his campaign wasn’t going anywhere, but he remained in the race. John Kasich’s ambitions and his consultants drive to continue a failed campaign handed states like Virginia to Trump and helped set up this situation.
I always tell people that there is more fighting within a party than between the two parties. That is what is being played out now. The curtain was pulled back a bit earlier this year when State Treasurer Josh Mandel endorsed Marco Rubio. Borges referred to Mandel as a “bit player” for supporting a candidate who wasn’t John Kasich. Believe me when I say that scorecards are kept with regards to who someone supports in a primary.
In a sour reply, Borges referred to Paduchik as a “staffer.” This is typical Borges. He tries to demean people he is threatened by. Paduchik was Rob Portman’s 2010 campaign manager and was the Ohio point person for Bush Cheney in 2000 and 2004. He was running campaigns before Borges even had his criminal record expunged or even had tax liens.
Just a few weeks ago, Borges looked to be playing the role of Trump fan boy. Some pictures were being texted around by people who were laughing that Kasich would be blowing his whistle and reprimanding the Ohio Republican Party Chairman for supporting the Republican presidential nominee.
Within days, Borges started the Trump bashing circuit. If Hillary wins and Borges becomes RNC Chair, then he can try to give Kasich the upper hand in the 2020 primary. That’s what all of this is about. This isn’t about character, it’s about manipulating for more power. Kasich made Borges. Borges owes him.
Paduchik’s letter has closed another door on Matt’s face. Since Borges hadn’t outright disavowed Trump, if Trump wins Ohio, Borges could have attempted to take credit for it in a run for RNC Chair. Now he no longer can.
Paduchik has also left Borges vulnerable to State Central Committee members who are unhappy with how the presidential race has been handled by the Ohio Republican Party. One told me, “I was supportive of Governor Kasich until his stunt at the convention. The ORP has done an embarrassing job the past few months. Hard questions need to be answered.”
It doesn’t matter what your feelings are about Trump. The Chairman has a job and if he can’t do that job, he should resign. Will the State Central Committee members do the jobs they were elected to or will they also bow down and kiss John Kasich’s ring?
I often tell my non-political friends that you can often find more animosity within the political parties than between them. The egos seem bigger and the stranglehold on power is tighter. There aren’t term limits, so people can seemingly stay around forever. And for the most part, a lot of the business isn’t done in the public eye.
That animosity was on display at last week’s Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee Meeting in a stunning display of arrogance. It would have gone unnoticed if it weren’t for Marc Kovac of Ohio Capital Blog taking video of the meeting. Chairman Matt Borges was handpicked by John Kasich to run the party. And Team Kasich has no tolerance for dissent of any kind.
Of course, Borges rammed through an endorsement for John Kasich’s Presidential campaign. Everyone expected that as Kasich owns the committee and flexes his stranglehold at each opportunity. No other candidates were even mentioned. But, the most revealing part of the meeting was the endorsement of the incumbent State Central Committee members.
The Committee is very inside baseball, so I will break it down. There is a male and female member in each State Senate District, so there are 66 members. These volunteer positions are powerful as they elect the Chairman, approve the budget and issue endorsements. This is why Kasich wants to control it and the party spends money to protect the favored members seats.
It’s very challenging for a Committee member to get re-elected without the ORP endorsement as the party will invest money in an opponent to ensure control is maintained. Sometimes there is an “error” and an incumbent’s opponent “accidentally” appears on the ORP mailers. Oops. Those “errors” usually happen in strategically placed races.
On Friday, when the Chairman presented a list for endorsement, committee member Gary Burkholder’s name wasn’t on that list. And when he asked why, Borges informed him that a complaint challenging Burkholder’s residency had been filed at the Licking County Board of Elections.
Borges showed his cards when he said, “We have filed…,” before attempting to walk it back. But, Borges knew substantial information about this complaint, a complaint that Burkholder didn’t even know about.
Video courtesy of Ohio Capital Blog
Borges also had the audacity to complain about challenges to incumbents, as if somehow they were all born entitled to these seats. This is a rather tone deaf statement given the fact that the electorate is so upset with the entitled nature of politicians. But again, this wasn’t normally a televised meeting, and this back and forth wouldn’t have been included in the minutes because the minutes of the meetings isn’t a transcript. It is public because Marc Kovac was there recording it.
I had never heard of Gary Burkholder prior to watching this video on Saturday. I don’t know his stances or if I even agree with him on anything. But, I do know that this wasn’t done in a fair manner. And while I don’t mind if someone has an opinion that differs than mine, what I can’t tolerate is deceit and unfairness. And that is what happened here.
I contacted the Licking County Board of Elections to get a copy of the complaint. It was filed by a man named Steven Spach. The complaint contains no evidence that Burkholder doesn’t live in the district. It makes an (incorrect) assumption about Burkholder’s residency requirement at his job. But, the intent wasn’t necessarily meant to be a strong one. Borges simply needed a reason not to endorse Burkholder, because Kasich doesn’t find him useful.
I searched for Steven Spach to see if I could make a connection. Remember that most people don’t even know about these State Central Committee seats. And the few people who do wouldn’t be aware of anything about Gary Burkholder’s employment. There had to be a connection. I didn’t find it until I went on LinkedIn.
We are both connected to Mike Carey. Mike is someone I have held in high regard. He is also coincidently challenging Gary Burkholder for his seat on the State Central Committee. Remember that Borges said, “we have filed…” a complaint.
What was the purpose of this? It has become clear that Brookville’s residency requirement was waived for Burkholder. Was the purpose behind the Ohio Republican Party’s pursuit of his contract an attempt to threaten Burkholder’s job? Is this the price is for not being a rubber stamp for John Kasich? And why does the Kasich administration want to remove Burkholder in the first place?
The truth is that Team Kasich has wanted Gary Burkholder gone form the ORP since before Matt Borges even became chairman. Why? Because Burkholder opposed the same type of strong-arm tactics that Kasich used to oust Borges’s predecessor, Kevin DeWine.
One committee member from Licking County expressed what Democrats hope happens again and again, namely Republicans trashing other Republicans. “We have elected officials who are now actively campaigning against people on this committee who helped elect them,” said Gary Burkholder to a crowd that included Kasich warriors Jai Chabria, a close assistant working in the Office of the Governor, lobbying partners Doug Preisse and Robert F. Klaffky, long-time staffer and good buddy Don Thibaut and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor’s chief of staff, Laura Johnson.
Gary Burkholder, a committee member from Licking County, said he resented being thrust into the middle of a power struggle, labeling efforts by Kasich supporters to defeat DeWine backers as “the elephant in the room.”
Burkholder said it was hypocritical for Kasich’s allies — later naming Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, Davidson, Preisse and others — to make calls to county GOP chairmen urging them to support the Kasich slate. Jai Chabria, senior adviser to Kasich, attended the meeting, saying he was doing so on his own time. Also on hand was Laura Johnson, Taylor’s chief of staff.
Again, I don’t know anything about Gary Burkholder outside of this situation. And frankly, I don’t care what his positions are or who he is supporting for President. But, I do care that things are done fairly. And this was inherently unfair. This was absolutely disgraceful. What’s pretty pathetic is that the almost all the other committee members sat there in silence. Perhaps, like Burkholder, they weren’t given advance notice of this, but it has been several days since then. Where are their voices? Are they rubber stamping this?
The Licking County Board of Elections dismissed this challenge. It had no validity as it was simply meant to be a reason to withhold Burkholder’s endorsement. Without an endorsement from the ORP, a county party could endorse one of his opponents allowing the ORP to fund that person’s campaign.
I spoke with Gary Burkholder today and he would like Chairman Borges to call another meeting so he can get endorsed. And I should add that this meeting should have a quorum, so an endorsement can actually be issued. It is obvious that Team Kasich wanted this man booted. And rather than playing fair, they had to play dirty. But, thanks to a video, we know the truth.
This is the behavior that many of us have witnessed from Team Kasich. One hundred percent uniformity is demanded. And this is retribution you can expect if that demand is not met. Borges previously called State Treasurer Josh Mandel a “bit player” for supporting Marco Rubio. Borges is supposed to defend Republicans, but his allegiance is obviously only to John Kasich. Knives are out for the others.
Chairman Borges, when will the meeting be held to endorse Gary Burkholder? And when will you be giving a public apology?
State Treasurer Josh Mandel made some waves today by endorsing Marco Rubio for President. Mandel made his announcement through a column in the Daily Caller. Citing Rubio’s vision for the country, the Marine Corps veteran highlighted Rubio’s stances on fiscal and foreign matters.
He has shown that he understands the human costs of defending America’s interests, recognizing those brave warriors who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice so we may live free. Just as importantly, he also understands the costs incurred when America fails to defend those interests, costs that can be devastating for both our people and the values that we hold dear.
As Treasurer of Ohio, I am as confident in Marco’s fiscal policies as I am in his foreign policies. Though, as he sometimes says, “In the 21st century, foreign policy is domestic policy.” I believe he is right. In the 21st century, there are hardly such things as remote problems. The economic interests and physical safety of families in my home state of Ohio are often tied to the security of cities, villages and countries a world away.
Primaries are important. They allow the base an opportunity to speak to their party. Failing to engage the base creates a tsunami of trouble in a general election. Look no farther than Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign to learn this lesson.
But sometimes the party doesn’t like primaries. Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill recently went on a Facebook tirade airing his grievances over the Ohio Democratic Party for endorsing so early in next year’s US Senate race. O’Neill, who is only one of two statewide elected Democrats, actually told Democrats to leave the party over the ODP’s suppression of a Senatorial primary.
The Ohio Republican Party now is having a bit of a dispute regarding next year’s Presidential primary. Chairman Matt Borges told the Northeast Ohio Media Group that most Ohio Republicans should wait to see if Governor Kasich gets in the race before making any endorsements. Then Borges took a swipe at Mandel for having an opinion that didn’t include Kasich.
“I don’t think that not having the support of a bit player is going to impact that decision one way or the other.”
Mandel’s brand is that of a conservative rather than a rank and file Ohio Republican. True to conservative principles, Mandel opposed Ohio’s Medicaid expansion. He was the first statewide elected official to criticize common core. And with OhioCheckbook.com, Mandel has proven himself to be a watchdog for transparency in state government. Now he is a known as a “bit player” to the Ohio Republican Party Chairman for endorsing someone who isn’t John Kasich.
Borges’s swipe at Mandel makes the ORP and Kasich’s campaign look petty. The message being sent here is that you better toe the line and show 100% loyalty, or we are done with you.
There was no reason to wait until Kasich makes up his mind. What Borges is suggesting is that every Ohio Republican better be endorsing Kasich for president, should he decide to run. So, you better just wait and see. But if Kasich does decide to run, we expect your endorsement. And if you endorse someone other than Kasich, we will publicly attack you.
Josh Mandel is not bound by moral code to endorse someone just because they are from the same state. He believes Rubio is the best man for the job, based on his principles. Basing it on geography alone would be absurd.
Josh Mandel represents the base of the Republican Party. And when he is discounted as a “bit player” by the state Chairman, the party isn’t going to gain favor with the base it so desperately needs to engage.