Another pro-gun opponent for DeWine?

The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that the field of Republicans looking to dethrone anti-gun Senator Mike DeWine in next year's GOP primary looks to increase to two. (John Mitchel has already officially declared his candidacy)

According to the story, a former president of Middletown-based AK Steel announced Tuesday that he's considering running against Sen. Mike DeWine next year for the GOP nomination. It his reason that drew our immediate attention:

John Hritz, who describes himself as a conservative Republican, said DeWine is vulnerable because he is too liberal on guns, and took part recently in a compromise agreement made by 14 senators on judicial filibusters.

Hritz said DeWine could fall in the general election.
"All indicators point to the fact that Mike DeWine will lose his Senate seat to almost any Democrat who challenges him," Hritz said.

"Our committee will explore the mood of our Republican Party as well as DeWine's weakness in his voting record when it comes to representing Ohio values."

The story notes that the OhioGOP's commitment to the liberal DeWine remains solid:

Jason Mauk, political director at the Ohio Republican Party, said the party is confident that DeWine will win re-election next year.

"Senator DeWine has our full support and endorsement," Mauk said. "He has a long-standing record of public service to Ohio."

DeWine's office deferred to Mauk for comment.

Phil Singer, spokesman for the Democratic committee, told the Enquirer that it appears that both Republicans and Democrats are unhappy with the job DeWine is doing.

"It seems to be a bipartisan feeling that Mike DeWine is not up for the job of serving the people of Ohio in the Senate," Singer is quopted as saying. "Mr. Hritz's entry into the race is the latest piece of evidence to confirm that view."

Commentary from Larry S. Moore: The question remains will the Democrats capitalize on the opportunity to run a conservative pro-gun candidate in this race or will they remain true to the loosing formula of liberal anti-gun candidates? Mr. Singer seems to be getting the idea. I have to wonder why the Republicans are so slow to catch on?

I am a Republican Central Committee member in Greene County, Ohio. But as a gun owner there is no way I can possibly ever vote for Senator DeWine. It seems the Ohio GOP is willing to stand-by any Republican who is an incumbent regardless of how liberal and regardless of whether that Republican follows the Republican platform. It is clear that the Ohio GOP wants anyone with an R behind their name in office, even if that R really mean RINO!

DeWine has long been known as a Republican In Name Only - it has just taken a long time for that to bubble to the surface statewide and nationally. DeWine abandoned gun owners many years ago and continues to vote for and/or sponsors legislation to deny 2nd Amendment Rights.

With the possibility of a pro-gun Democrat (Ted Strickland) on the Ohio governor's ticket, and with the growing field of Republican opponents to DeWine, the Ohio GOP needs to look at the tea leaves in the cup. Those tea leaves are saying many conservatives and especially gun owners are interested in the issues, and are willing to cross party lines to vote the issue over the party.

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