It was quite remarkable that the Butler County Republican Party endorsed Jim Renacci for Governor of Ohio during the upcoming primary vote. Butler County isn’t the only endorsement for Renacci; he is picking them up at an increasing pace as the stretch toward election day has come closer. However, the Butler County Republican Party is one of the strongest conservative forces for good in the nation. Every officeholder in Butler County, which has over 400,000 people, is a Republican. Butler County likes its Republicans, and to turn away from the current governor and political heavyweight Mike DeWine is quite a public statement. It shows the tremendous Republican strength of Jim Renacci, but it also indicates to what degree Mike DeWine has lost the conservative base, and deservedly so. DeWine has operated as a Democrat. He was horrible during the Covid crisis. In many ways, he led all the blue states in lockdowns and has been a complete embarrassment to the Republican Party. If there were a picture of what a RINO looked like (a Republican in name only), Mike DeWine’s face would be their despicable example. But an endorsement from the Butler County Republican Party was no easy thing to give to Renacci. The DeWine name has been in politics for a long time, and in a less turbulent time, an endorsement of the incumbent governor would be assured. However, the times are turbulent, and Mike DeWine has led disaster straight to all our doorsteps by letting global oriented health experts tie Ohio to the sinking ship of lockdowns and mask mandates destroying businesses and people’s lives ruthlessly as the grips of authoritarian power seized all rational thought and turned DeWine into a modern version of the insane Roman emperor, Nero. Jim Renacci was a chance to start over, and when the Republican Party of Butler County was ready to make that change, it’s quite clear that the rest of Ohio was too.
I have loved Jim Renacci from the beginning and spoke to him personally during his campaign several times. He is poised to bring a Jim Renacci version of Florida’s Ron DeSantis to Ohio. I think Jim can be better than DeSantis, who has set a very high bar in many ways. Just a few days ago, I had a chance to talk to Jim Renacci again, this time for a long time in a somewhat private setting, and we talked about Trump. He didn’t want to say if he would get a Trump endorsement at that time. We talked about how tough it would be for Trump to pick anybody as an endorsement because if the other guy won, Trump would have to work with the loser when he returns to the White House in 2024 after the shellacking that is planned for the insurgent Democrats after this upcoming 2022 election. Jim Renacci was undoubtedly part of the puzzle in retaking America from the grips of Democrat activism. But again, DeWine has been in politics for a long time and has worked with the Trump administration before. In public, the relationship was workable, but behind the scenes, not so much. At one of the last campaign events Trump held in Ohio when DeWine tried to get on the stage with the president, the public booed him off, embarrassing DeWine tremendously. Trump supporters had not forgotten what DeWine did to Ohio during Covid, and they let him hear about it. A few weeks ago, I had a chance to meet the governor in Columbus, and it was evident that he was a shell of his former personality. He knew he was in political trouble. He screwed up Ohio under his first term, and he would have to pay for it. So to answer the question of endorsements, Trump is coming to Ohio on April 23rd to Delaware, just north of Columbus. Renacci will be at that event to meet with his old friend, Donald J. Trump. Get your tickets and witness history.
So now is the time for Joe Blystone and others who are also running for governor to put their name behind Jim Renacci. They are polling at 20% or less and are not picking up endorsements, which is an early indicator of people’s voting in the primary. Joe Blystone might be a good guy with conservative policies, but he doesn’t have the depth that Renacci brings to the table, and he’s not going to get it a month before the election. Instead, he could hurt the sizable lead that Renacci does have over DeWine by staying in the race. There is undoubtedly a home for good people like Blystone in a state run by Jim Renacci. He would essentially be an extension of the Trump administration, just as Florida is presently. But splitting up that Republican vote by skimming away 20% off the top would serve only one purpose, the chance that Mike DeWine might squeak in under the door due to a split-up conservative movement. That is undoubtedly the situation with the top four candidates for the Senate, one of the primary reasons Trump is coming to Ohio on the 23rd to settle a tight race so the party can unite behind his pick. Voters want to know who Trump wants to work with within the coming days, so the need to clarify things just a few weeks ahead of the primary election is necessary. Of course, it’s risky for President Trump to put his name behind anybody since all four of the candidates are running on a Trump platform of America first. But Trump isn’t afraid of risks, and this visit to Delaware shows it and the kind of leadership that a real leader brings to politics.
That is the same situation for candidate for governor Ron Hood and his running mate Candice Keller. I think they have value, and I’d hate to see them waste it fighting against Renacci for some slice of the Trump vote when the real villain in the race is Mike DeWine. Everyone needs to unite to ensure that Mike DeWine is defeated, especially with an upcoming Trump visit to back candidates and endorsements like Jim Renacci has with the Republican Party. There are still plenty of Never Trumper RINOs in the Republican Party who will show up and vote for Mike DeWine. Even though Blystone and Hood have no chance of catching up to Renacci before the election, if they were ever going to, it would have been before now; being in the race forces Renacci to have an unreasonable lead over DeWine to win the election. Without them in the race, Renacci would win for sure. So there could be only one reason they would stay in the race because they secretly want to help DeWine, which would then destroy their brand for any hope of a political future. It’s time for them to pick sides and back a winner. In this case, it’s Jim Renacci. It really shouldn’t be hard for them; whether the issue is constitutional conservativism or abortion rights, Renacci is so much like Trump policy-wise; he will listen to people who are further in the conservative movement than he is. But DeWine isn’t. So it should be an easy decision if those candidates genuinely want what’s best for Ohio. Once the Republican Party of Butler County makes their pick, it’s a good indication of what Ohio is going to do. And they have great things to offer the Republican Party; they should be involved once Jim Renacci is elected governor, and Ohio can then become much more of a MAGA state than it is now. We can then become the Florida of the north and perhaps do even better.