State Senator Kevin Coughlin (R-Cuyahoga Falls) today sent a letter to Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine asking that the party let voters decide the 2010 nomination for governor. This follows a series of e-mails sent by the Ohio Republican Party touting Wall Street executive and Fox News personality John Kasich's upcoming campaign announcement.I really do think that the Ohio Republican Party ought to make it their policy to NOT get involved in primaries. If they must get involved to protect an incumbent, an exception could probably be made for that, but this constant interference on the part of the party on behalf of certain candidates is most irritating.
"Ohio needs a rupture from the past," Coughlin said. "If we keep electing the same old politicians, we're going to get the same old results. If the Republican Party keeps falling back on old habits and recycling the names from our past, we're not going to be a significant part of Ohio's future."
Coughlin announced earlier this year that he is organizing a campaign for governor in 2010. He plans to kick-off his campaign after the legislative session finishes in July.
READ THE FULL TEXT OF KEVIN'S MAY 26 LETTER TO OHIO REPUBLICAN PARTY CHAIRMAN KEVIN DEWINE:
Kevin DeWine, Chairman
Ohio Republican Party
211 S. Fifth St
Columbus, OH 43215
We've enjoyed a cordial relationship during our service together in the Ohio General Assembly. Both of us are committed to improving Ohio and helping Republican candidates win. So it's with some disappointment that I write to express my concern over of the Ohio Republican Party's apparent support of a candidate for governor prior to the voters' selection of a nominee.
Recently, the ORP has sent several communications, paid for by the party, promoting next week's event to announce John Kasich's campaign for governor,. Kevin, our shared goals are well served when we have candidates organizing, promoting our issues, and bringing new people into the party. Neither the process, nor the voters are well served when party bosses try to force their preferred candidates.
I believe it is the role of the party to support Republican candidates in the general election and to call out Democrats when needed. But the privilege of selecting our nominees is reserved to the people by direct election in a primary. Until the people have selected their nominee, the party and it's bosses should butt out - overtly and covertly.
Kevin, we are the party of free markets. We are the party that trusts the people. Let the horses run. Let Ohio's Republican voters decide for themselves which vision for our state they prefer. Let the voters decide our nominee. It's their election.
I hope that I can count on equal treatment by you and the ORP and that party interference in the primary election for governor is nonexistent. I'd be happy to talk further with you about this.
Don't get me wrong, I like John Kasich and I think he makes the best candidate for governor. I'm talking about Jon Husted. But Mr. Coughlin's point is well made: the Ohio Republican Party ought not be involved at this point. But that's politics...