COLUMBUS — New leadership is now in place for the Ohio Republican Party as it positions itself for battle in the upcoming 2012 presidential election.
Kevin DeWine announced his resignation as GOP chairman on April 13 after leading the party for more than three years at this position. DeWine had announced his plan to step down as party chairman at the end of this year; but disagreements within the party with an important presidential election campaign looming in the coming months prompted DeWine to resign effective immediately, as he wanted to avoid a “party-splitting dispute.” Selected to replace DeWine was longtime party chairman Bob Bennett.
Bennett served as chairman of the Ohio Republican Party from 1998 to 2009, stepping down after his 10th term as DeWine then took over the reins of the party. In 2008, Bennett assumed the position of National Committeeman from Ohio and will continue to serve this position through 2012. He claims he is not seeking another long tenure as party chairman but may seek one more term in the coming election.
There are 66 members which make up the Ohio Republican State Central Committee. Representing Knox and Delaware counties and a portion of Franklin County in District 19 is Mount Vernon resident Rich Cochran and Teri Morgan.
“Friday’s meeting was overall very cordial, but you could feel undertones,” Cochran told the News. “Some of the Kasich people didn’t want [DeWine] to remain and be a lame duck, because this political season is going to be very, very important.”