Ohio Republican Party does not endorse in Attorney General race between staunch pro-gun/ anti-gun candidates
By Larry S. Moore
The news that the Ohio Republican Party (ORP) did not make an endorsement in the Ohio Attorney General race is making waves. Blogs have been making the most of it. Ohio political columnist William Hershey had pieces in the major Ohio newspapers, including the left-wing Dayton Daily News.
It is reported that DeWine is not disappointed but pressing forward with the race. Hershey reported in the December 9 Dayton Daily News, said that Mark Caleb Smith, director of the Center for Political Studies at Cedarville University (Mike DeWine's hometown college) notes that this reflects a battle between the old-line moderates and the conservatives for the control of the GOP. Only a extreme moderate - make that a liberal - could ever call Mike DeWine's record as one of a moderate. Unless by "old-line moderate" he means liberal.
Mike DeWine is attempting to re-invent himself as a moderate to conservative candidate. He has shown up at various sportsmen venues pressing the case that he is moderate on the gun issue and our rights are safe with him. I've got to hand it to him for showing up. However attempting to represent himself as a protector of the Second Amendment is, at best, laughable. Mike DeWine remains the only Republican candidate ever endorsed by the Brady Campaign. This was over Sherrod Brown, which really says something about how bad Mike DeWine's record is for gun owners.
The Cedarville University political analyst is correct that this race reflects a battle for the control and the future direction of the Ohio Republican Party. Following the departure of Bob Bennett and the disastrous election results for the party Chair Kevin DeWine put out a list of the steps to recovery of the ORP. Part of that list was to recognize past failures and present a better slate of candidates. The ORP State Central Committee, by refusing to endorse a fresh new conservative candidate, has shown they have not bought into Chairman DeWine's recovery plan.
The real question is, will Ohio gun owners be hood-winked into the re-invented rhetoric of Mike DeWine? Or will they perhaps sit on the sidelines of the battle? Many gun owners enjoy talking big at the gun club, shooting range or deer camp. It is easy to bash Mike DeWine in the friendly confines of our environment. But bashing Mike DeWine is not going to get the message out to the ORP. It is not going to get a better candidate elected. This is a race where there are clear choices for the gun owners.
Mike DeWine has a record to run away from, but he has a lot of name recognition, money, contacts and a ton of the "old-line moderates" from the Bob Bennett days. These people are plenty willing to ignore what is best for the future of the ORP and come to the aid of Mike DeWine.
Gun owners need to mount an army of volunteers in every county across Ohio. We need to dig in and work hard to elect a better candidate. We need to get the message out to the non-gun owning masses that there is a better candidate for all of Ohio. That candidate is Dave Yost. Yost was the first to announce his intentions to run for Ohio AG. He has been criss-crossing the state to build name recognition. Yost is working hard to win an election. He is endorsed by over 70% of Ohio's Republican Prosecutors. His position on Second Amendment rights is solid and unwavering.
This is one of the best opportunities to get involved as we move forward to the May primary. Volunteers and grass-roots efforts have shown to make the difference in many campaigns. I've stepped up in Greene County, Ohio where native Mike DeWine is a both a living legend and political powerhouse. Can you give some time to help Dave Yost as this battle enters the final stretch? Do you care enough about our gun rights in Ohio to help?
Larry S. Moore is a Buckeye Firearms Association Region Leader and Greene County Republican Central Committee Member.
Judging by a recent email from his campaign, in which he laughably attempts revisionist history by claiming "strong support for our 2nd Amendment rights", DeWine is quite aware of his status among gun owners as a pariah.
To counter this lie, Buckeye Firearms Association has created a fact sheet, and is encouraging volunteers to circulate it far and wide.