After Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) took the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, he's been fighting for his political future within the Republican Party. As the governor heads into the 2022 election, the state GOP may support him, but they're being attacked from members of their party.
According to Cleveland.com, state GOP chairman Bob Paduchik, a longtime operative, has been flooded with criticism and blame by the 66-member central committee.
"The dissenters take issue with the hundreds of thousands of dollars the state party gave to DeWine this year, as revealed in the governor's campaign finance report filed on July 31," said the report. "The state party was DeWine's largest single contributor this year, giving DeWine $500,000 in cash in July, plus $394,000 in in-kind services, including $221,000 in fundraising consulting."
Some don't want the GOP supporting DeWine and at least one committee member, Laura Rosenberger, said that she's heard the next meeting could block any further support. Columbiana County Republican Party Chairman Dave Johnson doesn't think it will happen, though.
"Your constituents should know that when and if the ORP endorses candidates for the 2022 election cycle those decisions will be made by a majority vote of you and your colleagues on the committee," Paduchik said.
Rosenberger said that the reason she ran for the central committee was to block such endorsements.
"Even if I liked DeWine, I would still take the stand that I do against ORP endorsements, because I have taken this position for probably a decade before DeWine even considered running for governor," she said.
Former President Donald Trump seemed to encourage a GOP challenger to DeWine last November, the report explained, after DeWine called Joe Biden the president-elect. Neither Republican challenger to DeWine has managed to garner much as they begin their campaigns.