Robert T. Bennett, the venerable and venerated Republican Party chairman who returned two years ago after a squabble between newly elected Gov. John Kasich and Bennett's handpicked heir Kevin DeWine forced his return, was reelected by acclamation Friday at a meeting of the members of the State Central and Executive Committee.
"I'm proud to serve a twelfth term as chairman of the Ohio Republican Party and I'm honored to chair the Party of leaders who aren't afraid to tackle the big and challenging issues facing hard working Ohio families," Bennett said in a statement released Friday afternoon.
The following officers were elected today: Chairman: Bob Bennett; Secretary: Marilyn Ashcraft; Treasurer: Ranae Lentz; Assistant Treasurer: Tracey Winbush. Executive officers for the Ohio Republican Party will serve two year terms.
In the election for vice president, there was a split decision between Mary Ann Christie and Kay Reynolds. After three ballots, neither one had earned the 34 votes needed to elect. Each candidate was offered a chance to lure voters by telling committee members what direction the party would move if they were chosen.
Christie and Reynolds both shared similar visions. Christie, from Hamilton County, the location of City of Cincinnati, said voters want smaller government and believe government does too much now. She said the GOP's message isn't bad, but that Republicans and their presidential ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan didn't "advance it well enough" last November, when President won a second term by winning all the important battleground states including the pick of the litter, Ohio.
Following several proposals to move pass the election impasse, including proposals that included suspending the rules to change the rules to accommodate both candidates as co-vice presidents or first and second vice president, it was determined that the first female Speaker of the Ohio House, Jo Ann Davidson, will serve as Temporary Vice Chairman until a candidate is elected at the next State Committee meeting on April 12th.
Officers were sworn-in Friday by recently appointed Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judi French.
Watch Bob Bennett on 60 Seconds Ohio.
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