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DeWine resigns under pressure as Ohio GOP chief
Bob Bennett may come out of retirement to keep things running
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JO INGLES


Reporter
Jo Ingles
 
In The Region:

Updated: Three unions, including the United Food and Commercial Workers, are backing Anthony Giardini in his challenge of Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern. Redfern has the support of U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald.

After more than a year of infighting, the head of the Ohio Republican Party is stepping down. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles has details.

INGLES: Why DeWine was dumped

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There’s been a rift between Republican Governor John Kasich aand Republican Party Chief Kevin DeWine for more than a year now.  Just last week, Doug Priesse, the head of the Franklin County Republican Party, said DeWine needed to step down because his leadership isn’t effective.

"There’s plenty of blame to go around in all directions," Priesse said. "We do have a problem of a lack of unity so the status quo just isn’t good enough."

Kasich’s allies had fielded their own candidates for seats on the Republican statewide committee, and as of last week, Priesse thought enough new Kasich allies had been elected to be able to oust DeWine from the post. 

And now DeWine says he will step down once he oversees the election for his successor at a statewide meeting of Republican party leaders next Friday. DeWine says he’ll remain on the leadership committee.

One name that’s floating around as a possible replacement for DeWine is former Ohio Republican Party Chair Bob Bennett. Bennett says he’s been approached by some of the state committee members about taking the post, and he's considering it. But Bennett says he’s not yet ready to do a taped interview about the issue. 

In his written resignation letter, DeWine says he "cannot in good conscience let that fight go forward. If I did, it would be putting my personal interests over our party’s best interests. And I care too much about our work to do that."

The Ohio Republican Party isn't the only one fighting internal battles.
Some leaders in the Ohio Democratic Party want to oust chairman Chris Redfern. But some major unions are now coming out in support of Redfern.  And since unions provide significant support for the party, it makes it less likely that efforts to remove Redfern would be successful at this time.

Listener Comments:

Actually most unions are supporting Redfern's opponent. He only has ONE union supporting him. You guys aren't doing a very good job researching these things.


Posted by: Mark (Akron) on April 5, 2012 7:04AM
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