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Montgomery County GOP endorses Husted for governor

Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 12:34 AM
Updated: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 12:34 AM

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is a Republican candidate for Ohio governor. LYNN HULSEY/Staff
Lynn Hulsey
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is a Republican candidate for Ohio governor. LYNN HULSEY/Staff(Lynn Hulsey)

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted was endorsed in the Ohio governor’s race by the Montgomery County Republican Party’s central committee Wednesday night in a vote one of his opponent’s advisors denounced as “rigged.”

“As a UD Football Flyer and a state representative, I enjoyed a lot of victories in Montgomery County, but being endorsed to serve as governor is a special honor,” Husted said in a news release issued after the vote. “This is just another example of the energy and momentum behind our campaign and I am grateful for this support.”

The other Republicans vying for the nomination in the May 8 primary are Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine of Cedarville, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, and Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.

Rob Scott, a senior adviser to Renacci, said the central committee should have followed regular order and interviewed all four candidates before endorsing anyone. Neither Renacci nor Taylor have spoken to the committee since becoming candidates and an endorsement vote was not on the night’s agenda.

RELATED: Renacci jumps into governor’s race with ‘Ohio First’ campaign

“I think this is just another example of insider politics, and why people have a distaste for party politics,” said Scott, a central committee member and former state director for Donald Trump’s Ohio presidential campaign in 2016.

“(It’s) a rigged system, exactly why Donald Trump became president last year. And that’s why Jim Renacci is running this year,” Scott said. “Renacci’s running for the Trump vote and systems like this encourages the Trump vote and encourages somebody like Trump to get elected, and that is exactly who Jim Renacci is.”

RELATED: Some in Montgomery County GOP angry over possible endorsement vote

In a statement issued after the vote, Renacci called Husted a “liberal career politician” and congratulated him for his “hard fought victory against no one tonight.”

Husted is one of two candidates with strong local ties. The other is DeWine, a lifelong area resident who also served in the Ohio Legislature and as a U.S. senator and representative in Congress.

RELATED: Mike DeWine running for governor

Interviewed outside the meeting before the vote, DeWine said he anticipated he wouldn’t get the county party’s endorsement in his race for governor. He said it was clear the room was full of Husted supporters.

“We’ll win some endorsements. We’ll lose others, but ultimately it’s going to be the people in the primary, the actual voters who are making the decision,” said DeWine, who has been endorsed by the Lucas County Republican Party.

“If the election were held today in the Dayton media market I win by better than 2 to 1. Our polling and other people’s polling. So we want every endorsement. But we’re not going to get all of them. We know that,” said DeWine, who had spoken to the central committee last summer but did not go inside for Wednesday’s meeting.

Taylor spokesman, Michael Duchesne, also questioned the way the endorsement was handled.

“We are concerned about any effort to shortchange voters of a true choice,” Duchesne said. “Despite tonight’s irregularities, Lt. Governor Taylor feels confident that GOP primary voters will select her as the most conservative, substantive candidate in May’s primary.”

RELATED: Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor makes run for Ohio governor official

Husted supporter, State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, made the motion to endorse Husted and defended the endorsement vote, saying support for Husted was “overwhelming.” Husted spoke to the committee just prior to the vote.

“The party is excited and unified behind Jon Husted,” Antani said.

Husted got his start in politics in Montgomery County after graduating from the University of Dayton in the early 1990s. He worked as a party volunteer and at the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce before being elected to the Ohio House, and later the Ohio Senate. Husted said he’s gratified for all the help he had from the local party over the years.

“The idea I would be standing in front of these same people and asking for support for being governor is a dream, is quite a journey,” said Husted, who has also been endorsed by the Williams County Republican Party.

RELATED: Jon Husted running for Ohio governor

Candidates often use endorsements to help solicit support and raise money.

Candidates for the Democratic nomination include Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, former state representative Connie Pillich of Cincinnati, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, and former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton of Akron.

The winner will replace Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who is term-limited.

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Trump action on guns: Brown, Kasich, Ohio leaders react

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 8:43 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 8:43 PM

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown

Sen. Sherrod Brown called President Donald Trump’s effort Tuesday to ban devices that convert semi-automatic weapons into automatic guns “long overdue,” but said “more has to be done to protect Americans” against the growing number of mass shootings in schools.

Brown, D-Ohio, said “weapons of war do not belong on our streets,” and called for a ban on what is known as the gun show loophole which critics charge allow people to buy guns at a show without rigorous background checks.

Brown insisted he “respects” the rights of hunters and collectors and “no one intends to take away their guns. But when our children are not safe in their schools, it’s clear more has to be done to protect Americans against gun violence.”

By contrast, Rep. Steve Stivers of Upper Arlington, who heads the House Republican re-election campaign, voiced “support” for Trump’s decision, adding modifications such as bump stocks “only serve to spread shots in as wide of range and as quickly as possible, providing no legitimate sporting use and have no place in our communities.”

Kevin Smith, a spokesman for Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, offered a more cautious approach. Kevin Smith said “Rob supports” the review by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms “and he looks forward to their decision.”

Ohio Gov. John Kasich tweeted Tuesday: “Let’s give credit where credit is due. This is absolutely the right thing to do, and hopefully more will follow.”

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Ohio Secretary of State race to get national attention as 2020 looms

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 10:28 AM
Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 10:28 AM

Kathleen Clyde and Frank LaRose
Kathleen Clyde and Frank LaRose

With Republicans holding two-thirds of secretary of state offices including Ohio, Democrats are focusing renewed attention and money on a statewide post once considered a sleepy political stepping stone, acknowledging they’re playing catch-up with the GOP.

The Democratic Association of Secretaries of State has been motivated by what it considers efforts by some GOP secretaries to limit voter participation and unfairly pare voter rolls — allegations the GOP denies. The organization plans to raise money and provide guidance to a handful of candidates in 2018, likely in populous states that could prove important in the 2020 presidential election.

RELATED: Who is running for governor?

“We’re looking around to see where we have viable candidates and where the registration will be favorable, probably in swing states, places where until recently they did have a Democratic secretary of state, where legislation has been passed that would be what we consider oppressive,” said Denise Merrill, the Connecticut secretary of state and the chairwoman of the Democratic secretaries of state association.

The Democrats will start out relatively small in this year’s election, hoping to amass about $1 million, Merrill said. The association is considering targeting races in Ohio, Michigan, New Mexico and other states with open seats or Democrats seeking re-election.

Republicans, meanwhile, are looking to hold or win secretary of state seats in places like Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin and Alaska.

Republican and Democratic secretaries alike have voiced concerns about Russian influence on the 2016 elections and demands for voter information from Republican President Donald Trump’s now-disbanded election fraud commission. But a battle has developed in some states over voter fraud, voter identification requirements and purging of voter rolls.

Secretaries of state, which function as a state’s top election official, burst into public consciousness on a grand scale when the disputed 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore orbited around Florida’s Katherine Harris.

“People woke up and realized that there’s a lot of power in the secretary of state’s office, electoral power,” said Merrill, who has been traveling the country to raise money from donors, including wealthy Democrats and labor unions. She credited Republicans with making a targeted approach about a decade ago, pumping millions of dollars into secretary of state races in key states.

POLITICS: ‘Civil rights action’ could stop hospital closing, Kucinich says

“It made a huge difference, and suddenly there was a swing of 10 seats in 2010 alone,” Merrill said. “It happened fairly quickly. But I think it can be reversed to some extent, because we are now paying attention.”

Ohio is pivotal

Depending on how the U.S. Supreme Court rules, the next secretary of state in Ohio, always pivotal in presidential elections, could decide whether to continue pruning voter rolls by targeting people who haven’t voted in a while.

State Rep. Kathleen Clyde, the Democratic secretary of state candidate here, is running for an open seat against Republican state Sen. Frank LaRose. If the Supreme Court upholds pruning, which proponents argue is needed to prevent fraud, Clyde has vowed to stop it, maintaining voters’ names have been illegally removed.

She has already been endorsed by national groups such as Emily’s List, which works to elect Democratic women. She predicts it will be a multimillion-dollar race that attracts a lot of outside money.

Big money

The Republican State Leadership Committee, which focuses on state races and oversees the Republican Secretaries of State Committee, spent nearly $30 million in 2010 on state races, including secretaries of state, records show.

A “battle of ideologies” has been happening for a while concerning the integrity of elections, said Matt Walter, president of the Republican State Leadership Committee.

There has been “a concerted effort by liberal and progressive interests to have a dialogue about election procedures,” he said, mentioning groups like iVote.

On its website, iVote said it first “went on offense by working to elect pro-voting secretaries of state in key battleground states” in 2014, noting it supports candidates that “encourage participation by expanding access for eligible voters.”

But accusations that Republican secretaries of state are trying to suppress voter turnout, especially among minority groups, to ultimately benefit GOP candidates “sound like the crocodile tears of people who failed to run good candidate who had good visions for their states,” Walter said.

He insisted GOP candidates want to make it “easier to vote and harder to cheat” by taking steps such as removing outdated information from voter lists.

“When you clean those things up,” he said, “you remove the possibility for people who are attempting to intrude into the voting process, and you also remove innocent errors.”

By SUSAN HAIGH, Associated Press

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Mike Turner wants groomsman, fellow congressman deposed in divorce hearings

Published: Monday, February 12, 2018 @ 10:43 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 @ 12:16 PM

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner files for divorce

Dayton Congressman Mike Turner wants California Congressman Darrell Issa deposed in his divorce proceedings, according to POLITICO.

Turner filed for divorce from his wife Majida Mourad after a year and a half of marriage.

Issa was a groomsman at the wedding in Dayton in 2015.

POLITICO says Turner gave Issa a letter in the Capitol last week asking him to give a deposition, according to unnamed sources.

We have reached out to Congressman Turner’s office for a response.


Mourad’s attorney, Sanford Ain, said in a statement to POLITICO Monday that Turner “may have” told “third parties” that she was unfaithful, “thinking it would advantage him in the divorce.” But any claim of infidelity by Mourad “has no basis in fact,” Ain said.

Darrell Issa and Mike Turner. Ap Photo by J Scott Applewhite

“Because it has been raised, Ms. Mourad was never unfaithful to Congressman Turner during the marriage, before or after Congressman Turner filed for divorce. Any allegation of her being unfaithful to Congressman Turner is simply false and defamatory,” Ain said.

POLITICO reports that Mourad and Issa have been friends for 20 years, but there is nothing more to their relationship, according a a source close to Mourad.

“There is no truth whatsoever to these allegations,” Issa said in a statement.

RELATED: 5 things to know about Congressman Mike Turner’s soon-to-be-ex-wife

Turner filed for divorce in May and asked that Mourad be restrained from taking any of their assets, according to a divorce filing made in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.

Congressman Mike Turner(Associated Press)

RELATED: Turner says fiancee’s business dealings pose no conflict

“Ms. Turner is guilty of a fraudulent contract,” according to the filing, which does not elaborate on what that means.

Mourad was a registered lobbyist for the liquid natural gas export company Cheniere Energy Inc.

RELATED: Mike Turner files for divorce

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Gov. Kasich orders flags at half-staff to honor slain officers

Published: Monday, February 12, 2018 @ 9:36 AM

Ohio’s governor on Monday ordered flags flown at half-staff around the state to honor two police officers killed over the weekend in suburban Columbus.
The order from Republican Gov. John Kasich applies to flags at public properties and will be in place until the officers are interred.
The order came hours before police in suburban Westerville were slated to escort the bodies of 39-year-old Eric Joering and 54-year-old Anthony Morelli from a coroner’s office to separate funeral homes. Officials invited the public to line the route.
Westerville police haven’t announced funeral details.
The officers were shot Saturday while responding to a 911 hang-up call at a townhome where the 30-year-old suspect was wounded.
Officials said Sunday that suspect Quentin Smith was hospitalized in stable condition and expected to survive.
He’s charged with aggravated murder. Municipal court records didn’t show an attorney for him.
Smith was sentenced to three years in prison in 2009 on a burglary conviction with an added enhancement of having a gun. He left prison in 2011 and was released from parole, called community control in Ohio, in November 2013, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

-Associated Press

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