Ohio pols begin to weigh in on Republican presidential candidates

by Chad D. Baus

Although it appears Ohio Republicans will not get to vote in a presidential primary until it is already decided (the primary has been moved back from its usual March Super Tuesday spot to near the back of the line in June 2012), GOP political figures in the Buckeye State have begun to weigh in on who they believe should be the nominee to face Obama.

The Dayton Daily News is reporting that NRA Board of Directors member and former Ohio Treasurer and Secretary of State Ken Blackwell has endorsed Texas Governor Rick "gun control means using both hands" Perry for President. Blackwell, who is the first African-American to be elected to statewide executive office in Ohio, also earned the Republican nomination for governor in 2006.

From the article:

"I am proud to endorse Gov. Rick Perry," Blackwell said on Perry's campaign Web site. "Gov. Perry's successful record of job creation shows that he has the skill, experience and ideas necessary to get our nation working again."

Perry said Blackwell, unsuccessful candidate for Ohio governor in 2006, "has been a strong conservative leader."

"His support will be instrumental to the campaign and I look forward to partnering with him as I travel the nation to share my vision to get America working again," Perry said.

Meanwhile, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who has a troublesome record when it comes to gun rights, has received the endorsement of former U.S. Senator and current Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who served in 2008 as the Ohio chair of Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign (McCain has an equally troubling record on gun rights).

From WHIOtv.com (Dayton's CBS affiliate):

Ohio's attorney general is backing Republican Mitt Romney's presidential bid, saying he's best suited to beat President Barack Obama in next year's election.

Mike DeWine said in a statement Tuesday that he's endorsing the former Massachusetts governor because he believes Romney will bring more jobs to the battleground state of Ohio.

The endorsement came as Romney was to make a campaign stop Tuesday in the Cincinnati suburb of Terrace Park. He planned to visit volunteers at a phone center seeking supporters for Ohio ballot issues on public employee bargaining and on Obama's health care overhaul.

The article also notes that Romney was apparently DeWine's second choice. The former Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence endorsee had previously endorsed former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's run for the White House. Pawlenty was never able to gain broad appeal among the Republican field and left the race in August.

So here we have Rick Perry and Ken Blackwell versus Mitt Romney and Mike DeWine. Known for being bold, Perry & Blackwell are not just pro-gun, but proudly pro-gun. They understand Second Amendment issues because they are gun owners who shoot and carry on a regular basis.

Romney and DeWine, on the other hand, are known for being loyal party people. Both are talking a good game on firearms these days, but both have troubling past records for gun owners.

Both Rick Perry and Mitt Romney are getting support from other prominent people who hold similar views. The question is, which set of views are more appealing to you and other voters?

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

Related Article:
A look at the GOP's 2012 Presidential field from a gun rights perspective

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