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Northeast Ohio Tea Party Leader Stands By Trump After Video Tape Leak

photo of Tom Zawistowski

Some Republican Party leaders have been denouncing presidential candidate Donald Trump since a tape revealing his boasts about sexual assault came out this weekend. But, some of Trump’s supporters are firing back.

Northeast Ohio Tea Party leader Tom Zawistowski has backed Trump in this presidential race since this summer  and says for him and for many other Tea Partiers, that hasn’t changed.

“We never supported Donald Trump because we shared his values. We support Donald Trump because we share our issues.”

Though Zawistowski said earlier this year he opposes the re-election of Sen. Rob Portman, he says his group was ready to support Portman until he pulled his support from Trump on Saturday. Now, Zawistowski says his members plan to vote against Portman.

“If he won’t support Donald Trump now, how will he support the changes demanded by us, the voters, through our support of Trump when he’s back in Washington?”

A Quinnipiac Poll released last week shows Portman is 17 points ahead of his Democratic challenger, former Governor Ted Strickland.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.