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Government & Politics
2020 is looking to be a pivotal year in politics. But this year's elections are about much more than the race for the White House. And the coronavirus pandemic is proving to be a complicating factor. WKSU, our colleagues at public radio stations across Ohio and the region and at NPR will bring you coverage of all the races from the national to the local level.

Former Ohio GOP Chair Now Heading Group Working For Biden's Election

Ohio Republican Party Chair Matt Borges looks up at a video while on the floor at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in 2016. Borges expressed reservations about Trump, but voted for him.
Ohio Republican Party Chair Matt Borges looks up at a video while on the floor at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in 2016. Borges expressed reservations about Trump, but voted for him.

The former head of the Ohio Republican Party is spearheading an effort to get Democrat Joe Biden elected president.

Matt Borges voted for Donald Trump in 2016, but his concerns about the candidate led to his ouster as Ohio GOP chair in 2017 in favor of Trump supporter Jane Timken.

Now Borges leads a group of Republican operatives creating a multi-million dollar digital, mail and phone campaign to convince specific GOP voters to cast early ballots for Biden.

“For one time in my career, I see one race where it’s important for the party, it’s important for the future of conservatism, to support the Democratic nominee this time around," Borges said.

Among the other operatives is Anthony Scaramucci, the White House communications director who was fired by Trump 10 days into the job. He's been sharply critical of Trump in recent months.

The Right Side PAC will target voters in six swing states - Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina and Florida - focusing on those expressing unhappiness with the Republican Party’s direction under Trump.

While some reports have suggested that Ohio is now in play, Borges said since Trump won Ohio by nearly a half a million votes, the PAC won’t be working in Ohio.

And Borges said the PAC is focused only on the presidential race, not on downticket races.  And he stressed he's not becoming a Democrat.

“I have absolutely zero interest in that. I hope the Senate stays Republican. I’m going to vote for every other Republican on the ballot," Borges said. "I don’t think there’s any question this is an extremely unique set of circumstances that we find ourselves in, and a once and only in a lifetime situation for me.”

There was no comment from the Ohio Republican Party.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.