Today, as State Rep. Seth Morgan (R-Huber Heights) was announcing his bid for Ohio Auditor of State, Ohio GOP Chairman Kevin DeWine had something else in mind. From the Dayton Daily News (h/t Weapons of Mass Discussion):
Ohio Republican Chairman Kevin DeWine of Fairborn has asked Delaware County Prosecutor Dave Yost to consider running for state auditor, setting up a possible primary battle with state Rep. Seth Morgan, R-Huber Heights.
DeWine released his statement on Thursday, Jan. 21, as Morgan was officially launching his auditor campaign:
“Dave Yost is eminently qualified to run for auditor, having served as a county auditor and county prosecutor.
“I’ve heard from party leaders across the state that they would like to see Dave represent the party as our candidate for auditor, so I’ve asked him to consider it.
“Seth is an outstanding young legislator and has a great future in our party. I’m responding to the great demand from party leaders across the state to ask Dave to run for this office.”
Okay, first: Which party leaders? Name them, Chairman DeWine. Certainly they’re not the leaders of the county parties that have already endorsed Yost for Ohio Attorney General (five of them now). Of course I suppose your cousin, former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, could be construed as a party leader, and I’m sure he certainly has issued a “great demand . . . to ask Dave to run for this office.”
Here’s the truth of the matter. Yes, both Morgan and Yost are “eminently qualified” to run for Auditor. Seth Morgan is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), like Mary Taylor before him, while Dave Yost has indeed served as county auditor. The problem is that while both Morgan and Yost are qualified for Auditor, only Yost is truly qualified for Attorney General. Yost practiced law from 1993-99, served as Delaware County Auditor from 1999-2003, and has now served three terms (seven years) as Delaware County Prosecutor. Meanwhile, Mike DeWine hasn’t served as a county prosecutor or practiced law in any form since 1976.
Seth Morgan is eminently qualified for Auditor of State. Dave Yost is eminently qualified for Attorney General, as his five local party endorsements to DeWine’s zero endorsements clearly demonstrate. And Mike DeWine? Well, he is eminently qualified for a lifetime free pass to an all-you-can-eat RINO buffet, but that’s about all he’s qualified for at this point.
Listen, Kev, I’m going to be frank (but don’t worry, you can still be Kev): We all know what this is about. You desperately want your cousin to be the Republican nominee for Attorney General, and you know that unless Dave Yost drops out of that race it’s never going to happen. But the problem here is that you’re putting your personal connection to your cousin ahead of the Ohio Republican Party and the good of the state. Mikey’s presence on the statewide ticket will only serve to deflate the enthusiasm of Ohio Republicans, most of whom are good and fed up with DeWine’s antics in the U.S. Senate. Do you really want to drag down the statewide ticket? Are you really prepared to do that? If so, you should step down. Today. Without delay.
While I’m at it, a stern warning to Mr. Yost: Don’t even think about it. According to your spokesman, you’re “very seriously considering” the Auditor’s race. Well, stop. I can tell you right now, Mr. Yost, I will still be casting my ballot for Seth Morgan in the Auditor primary. Sure, you’re qualified. But if you switch to the Auditor’s race now, you say three things about yourself. First, you say that you’re prepared to let a less qualified man run for Attorney General so that you can win what you perceive to be an easier primary. Second, you say that you don’t really care which statewide office you hold, as long as you hold one. And third, you say that you are the man who will hand Ohio voters Mike DeWine as the only Republican choice for Attorney General.
If you make yourself that man, Mr. Yost, I will devote my time from now until the primary to take you down. And anytime you try to run for something else, I will do everything I can to make sure you stay in Delaware County. Stay in the Attorney General’s race and out of the Auditor’s race, Mr. Yost — for the good of Ohio, the Ohio Republican Party, and for the good of your career.
Finally, I’m just going to throw this out there: Tea Partiers of Ohio (and America), unite! You have nothing to lose but your RINOs. Kevin and Mike DeWine think because they’re the establishment they can pick and choose who will lead this state. Let’s prove them wrong and remind them that voters decide who will lead this state. Every single Tea Partier in this state — and across the country, for that matter — should unite behind Seth Morgan’s candidacy today. Let’s show the DeWines that we run Ohio, not them. Let’s show Dave Yost that he needs to stay in the Attorney General’s race, and if he does let’s reward him with our support. And let’s show the Republican establishment across the country, one more time, who is really in charge.
I will tell you how to donate to Seth Morgan’s campaign as soon as that information is made available to me [UPDATE: DONATE HERE]. In the meantime, especially if you’re an Ohioan (but even if you’re not), get on the phone to Chairman Kevin DeWine’s office and make some noise about his meddling in the Ohio statewide primaries. And while you’re at it, shoot Dave Yost’s Attorney General campaign manager Matt Borges an e-mail and let him know (politely, please, since Mr. Yost has done nothing yet to deserve our ire) that you want Yost to stay in the Attorney General’s race and out of the Auditor’s race.
Ohio Republican Party
211 South Fifth Street
Columbus, OH 43215
This is our chance to show Kevin and Mike DeWine who’s really in charge of the Ohio Republican Party and Ohio in general. If you speak loud enough, they’ll have to listen. It’s all up to you now.