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Timken Gets Support from Ohio's Tea Party Leader in Her Bid to Become Ohio's GOP Chair

Photo of Tom Zawistowski
Portage County Tea Party Leader Tom Zawistowski was a supporter of Donald Trump during the 2016 election, and is critical of Republican Chair Matt Borges for his feud with Trump's campaign.

Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges and Jane Timken, the Stark County Republican who wants to unseat him, are lining up their supporters as they go into the party’s leadership vote next month.

One conservative leader who opposed Borges before is firmly behind the challenger.

Portage County Tea Party leader Tom Zawistowski tried and failed to beat Borges for the party’s chairman position in 2013. He got support from a small but vocal wing of the party.

Zawistowski doesn’t get a vote, but says he supports Jane Timken because he thinks the feud between Borges and Donald Trump’s Ohio campaign manager Bob Paduchik earlier this year will be a problem.

“Now with Paduchik getting a spot at the RNC, not having a good relationship with the RNC, that’s just bad.”

Gov. John Kasich – who helped Borges become the party’s chair – has said he backs Borges.

Borges has told the committee that will select the chair that he has the leaders of the Ohio House and Senate as well as several members of Congress in his corner. Timken says she has Trump’s support.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.