Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine Announces Resignation

COLUMBUS - This evening, in a letter to Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee Members and county chairmen, Chairman Kevin DeWine announced that he will be stepping down as Chairman on April 13. Chairman DeWine's successor will be elected at the Ohio Republican Party State Central & Executive Committee reorganization meeting on April 13. DeWine has served as chairman of the Ohio Republican Party since January 2009.

April 4, 2012

Dear State Central Committee Member,

Shortly after my election as your chairman in 2009, following Barack Obama's win in Ohio and the Democrat takeover of the Ohio House of Representatives, I introduced a 10-point strategy designed to bring about the Ohio Republican Party's political resurgence through a united set of goals. The plan called for restoring our party's conservative credibility, developing a broad policy-driven agenda, re-engaging the middle class, and modernizing our voter contact programs. In light of our historic victories in 2010, the results of this "Leading Ohio" plan speak for themselves.

A favorable political environment can motivate base and swing voters; however it's the party's identification and turnout apparatus that makes the difference in tight statewide and legislative races. Since 2009, the Ohio Republican Party has collected more data points -- nearly 6.6 million -- than any other state in the nation. Approximately 3.7 million of these contacts were made in 2010, a record for a midterm election year. The party infrastructure we built enabled us to sweep every statewide office, elect Rob Portman to the U.S. Senate, reclaim a majority in the Ohio House of Representatives and build upon our majority in the State Senate. We also elected the first woman Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court and picked up five congressional seats, positioning John Boehner to be elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

But we didn't rest on those historic electoral victories. We worked together to stand in defense of conservative reform efforts in 2011 - not because the fight was politically popular, but because it was necessary to revive our state's struggling economy. On behalf of Senate Bill 5 and the Health Care Freedom Amendment, Ohio Republicans broke voter contact records on volunteer calls (1.3 million), doors knocked (108,000), and targeted precincts (1,733) mobilized in an off election year - and we dealt a crushing blow in all 88 counties to what many view as the signature domestic achievement of President Obama's first term in office.

It's clear that our work together over the past three years has ushered in a new era of conservative governance in our state, the success of which is best exemplified in the fact that Ohio has achieved a balanced budget, and is once again a leader in job creation.

Today, our state organization is a strong and relevant voice on the national stage and the pieces are now in place to carry Ohio for our presidential nominee. I'm proud of these achievements and I'm proud that you and I worked together to accomplish this legacy.

Now, factions within our party are aligned to fight over who is best to lead us forward. A meeting looms where that fight could erupt into a party-splitting dispute that no one will win and everyone will lament. I'm honored by the large number of State Central Committee members who are willing, even eager, to fight to sustain my leadership. Yet I cannot in good conscience let that fight go forward. If I did, it would be putting my personal interests over our party's best interests. And I care too much about our work to do that.

That's why, at our State Committee meeting on April 13, I will step aside as Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party. During that meeting, I will oversee the election of my successor, following which I will take my place beside you as a peer on the Committee as we fight for the future of our state and country.

I will continue to serve our party, our elected officials, and our candidates in many ways including as a member of the National Finance Committee of the Republican National Committee. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has asked that I join him in the effort to ensure two critical goals: to make certain that Republican candidates, including our nominee for president, have the resources they need to be successful in November, and that we fulfill the mission of making Barack Obama a one term President.

The time I've spent as your Chairman has afforded me the unique perspective and understanding that we are all but temporary keepers of a party in which power is derived from the people we are sworn to honorably represent. It has truly been a privilege, and a highlight of my professional career, to have served as your Chairman with the goal of making our communities, our state and our nation stronger and more prosperous. I'm proud of our collective triumphs and the fact that together, for the benefit of our children's future and all Ohioans, we have made our party stronger organizationally and electorally over the past three years than at nearly any time in history. I stand committed to working with you in serving the party we all love and respect for many years to come.


[DeWine Signature]

Kevin DeWine

Chairman, Ohio Republican Party