Ohio GOP State Central Committee Meets, Hears from Justice Kennedy and Trump Victory Ohio State Director, Tables Endorsement Policy Recommendation


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s Republican State Central Committee met Friday and Chairman Jane Timken opened the meeting. Distinguished guests included Trump Senior Advisor Bob Paduchik, Trump Victory Ohio State Director Steve Buckingham and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy. One substantive agenda item was up for discussion – a change in their endorsement policy – which was tabled at the request of the Republican Senate and House Caucuses.

Paduchik spoke to the committee members for a few minutes. He told them the process of becoming a delegate for the 2020 Republican National Convention was being finalized. At the end he asked Buckingham to provide an update on the status of the Trump campaign and how the ground game is going.

The campaign has had over 150 events this summer and thousands of people have attended training and MAGA meetups, Buckingham told attendees. Even more volunteers have worked on voter registration drives. All the counties have been given a goal for voter registration with a bonus: the winner gets a signed-by-President-Trump MAGA hat.


Justice Sharon Kennedy, the 154th justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, is up for re-election in 2020. She has been traveling around Ohio and has visited nearly all of the 88 counties. “We were given a great Republic, founded on key principles, and protected by founding documents and of that is our limited role in government when we serve as members of the judiciary,” she stated.

“As a result of that, that is the message I carry Ohio, and in that, asking people to trust, that when they are electing me back to the Ohio Supreme Court I will continue to serve in our core belief system,” noted Kennedy. “If the great communicator Ronald Reagan were here he would say to all of you why our time honored principle is judicial constraint is because we want our republic to live. We are the voice of government through the legislative branch, not a pen and a bench of the judiciary.”

New business included the report from the Endorsement Policy Review Committee. Chair Pat Hennessey detailed the committee’s discussion about establishing endorsement guidelines for the 2020 election. Three lists were initially going to be requested from the House and Senate Republicans for potential endorsements. The lists were:

  1. incumbent members up for re-election
  2. uncontested non-incumbent open seats
  3. contested non-incumbents with two or more candidates seeking election

The committee had concerns with the third list. A vote was taken and all members of the Endorsement Committee agreed to eliminate it and keep just the first two. However, the House and Senate Caucuses expressed concern about eliminating the contested non-incumbent endorsements and asked them to table the recommendation until the December meeting. As a result, a vote was taken by the full Central Committee and it was tabled.

The State Republican Central Committee is comprised of a male and female delegate from each state senate district, resulting in 66 elected members. There are several former politicians on the Central Committee, including former Speakers JoAnn Davidson and Bill Batchelder, former legislators Mark Waggoner, Gary Cates and David Goodman, former Congressmen Steve Austria and Bob McEwen and former Attorney General Betty Montgomery.

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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star.  Follow Beth on Twitter.  Email tips to [email protected].



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