It’s rare to find a new candidate who earns support from both party leaders and grassroots leaders during a primary. That is a big gap to bridge during a contentious primary. Those of us who know Lucy Stickan understand why she has accomplished this during her short candidacy.
Stickan is running for State Central Committee in District 24. These races are often overlooked but are vital to the health of the party as they elect the Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party and make other important decisions. These positions don’t come with a salary, but they do come with quite a bit of power and responsibility. That’s why it’s imperative to make the right decisions.
Lucy puts her heart on the line for Republican candidates. When so many Republican leaders abandoned Donald Trump after he was the nominee, Lucy actually quit her job in the U.S. Senate to volunteer full-time as a Cuyahoga Co-Chair for the campaign. She was a Kasich delegate to the convention, but when the Governor drew a line in the sand, Lucy crossed it and stood with Trump.
Lucy Stickan’s resume is filled with positions that are vital to the Republican Party. In addition to being the Chairwoman of the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County Executive Committee, Lucy is a board member of the NEO USO and the Purple Heart Homes of Cleveland. She is very devoted to causes involving assisting, supporting, and honor our veterans.
When a candidate needs support in Cuyahoga County, Lucy is one of the first people who is typically called. She is incredibly well respected by members of both the RPCC Central and Executive Committees. Stickan is so well regarded that she earned the unanimous endorsement from the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County.
There are four candidates running for this position. Nancy Suhadolnik has held the position for decades, but she is rarely seen in the district anymore as she spends a good portion of her time with her husband Gary in their Florida home. In fact, the Suhadolniks spend so much time in Florida that Gary, a Republican who supported Ted Strickland, is a registered voter in the Sunshine State while Nancy is registered to vote in Strongsville.
The current Committeewoman’s failure to properly represent the district is so noticeable that Republican Mayors and other elected officials throughout the district have endorsed Stickan. Lucy has even earned important endorsements right where the incumbent “lives.”Strongsville Mayor Tom Perciak endorsed Lucy. The Strongsville GOP also unanimously endorsed Stickan.
The 24th District deserves to have proper representation. We deserve to have a Committeewoman who seeks our input and votes our district. We need someone who will come to Republican clubs in the district to update us on the ORP. Lucy already does this, so the choice is rather clear.
It would be impossible to list all of the candidates Lucy Stickan has volunteered and led to victory over the years. But, she certainly is a candidate we all should support now.
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.
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.