The leader of the Strongsville GOP, Ohio’s largest grassroots Republican organization, told The Ohio Star why he, and his group, are backing former state treasurer Joshua A. Mandel in the fight for the Republican Senate nomination.
“We had our endorsement meeting last month, and we had more than 150 members in attendance, and overwhelmingly we voted to endorse Josh Mandel,” said Shannon Burns, the president of the Strongsville GOP and a member of the Ohio Republican Party’s Central Committee.
The embattled chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, Robert A. Paduchik, successfully oversaw a contentious 3.5-hour meeting Friday of the state party’s central committee held at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center here, culminating in the committee voting 36-26 in a secret ballot to endorse Gov. R. Michael DeWine, along with the other statewide Republicans incumbents as a slate.
Members of the Ohio Republican Party’s Central Committee, who have been punished for demanding more transparency and accountability, shared with The Ohio Star their thoughts on Friday’s meeting, which ended suddenly with items still on the agenda.
Party Chairman Robert A. Paduchik had gaveled the meeting in recess until two Delaware County Sheriff’s deputies cleared out everyone from the sitting in the two dozen chairs set up in the public gallery and the people standing, who crowded the roped-off space in the back of the room.
Two of the five resolutions on the agenda were left to consider when Paduchik and his allies quickly ended the recess and adjourned the meeting on a voice vote.
The Ohio Republican Party chairman gaveled shut the December 3 meeting of the Ohio Republican Party Central Committee held at the Nationwide Conference and Hotel Center here roughly 90 minutes in, leaving two resolutions unaddressed on the agenda.
“We are taking a recess until the hall is cleared,” said Robert A. Paduchik, who took over leadership of the state party from Jane E. Timken in February, shortly after 11:30 a.m., after members of the committee complained that individuals in the public gallery participated in voice votes.
The public gallery had two dozen chairs in a roped-off section in the back of the room for the roughly 100 people who showed up for the open to the public meeting. A handful of protesters held signs and during the meeting and burst into applause or cheers.
A statewide survey conducted by the Strongsville, Ohio GOP asked respondents “If a qualified Republican ran against Governor DeWine in the Republican primary, for whom would you vote?”
Only 23.8% said they would vote for DeWine, while an unnamed “qualified Republican” would get 39.2% of the vote. Thirty-six percent were not sure and 1% would support an “other” candidate.