Tuesday Was A Huge Night For Trump – And J.D. Vance

By Susan Crabtree for RealClearPolitics

In his 2016 bestselling autobiography “Hillbilly Elegy,” J.D. Vance thanks his grandparents – his “Mamaw” and “Remember in 2019 when workers were doing well in this country, not struggling terribly. Thanks [to] the president for everything, for endorsing me.”

Tuesday night, as Vance stepped closer to his goal of joining the most exclusive club in the country – the U.S. Senate – he thanked his grandparents again, along with President Trump.

“I absolutely gotta thank the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, for providing, ladies and gentlemen, an example of what could be in this country,” Vance, 37, said in his primary victory speech. “Remember in 2019 when workers doing well in this county, not struggling terribly, thanks for the president for everything, for endorsing me.”

RELATED: Trump Endorsement Vaults J.D. Vance To Top Of Contentious Ohio GOP Senate Primary Race

Vance then pulled a trademark Trump maneuver, slamming the “fake news media” for wanting to write a story that “this campaign would be the death of Donald Trump’s America First agenda … Ladies and gentlemen, it ain’t the death of the America First agenda.”

It’s been a heady, evolutionary six years for Vance, the Yale law school graduate and venture capitalist who burst on the scene with his book about growing up “dirt poor’ in Appalachia. Coastal elites immediately embraced his life story as a way to understand Trump’s appeal among the white working class.

During the 2016 campaign, though, Vance declared himself a Never Trumper, dubbing the casino-developer-turned-reality-TV-star-turned-politician “cultural heroin” for the masses, and argued he was leading working-class voters into a dark place.

However, during the Trump presidency, Vance shifted sharply to become an avid Trump supporter, citing the tumultuous Supreme Court confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as a significant turning point. (His wife, Usha Chilukuri, had clerked for Kavanaugh when he was an appeals court judge.)

Meanwhile, Ohio transformed from a Republican-leaning swing state to a solidly red GOP bastion, supporting Trump by nine percentage points in 2016 and double digits in 2020.

Vance’s win brings to a close a crowded and contentious Republican contest to fill the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman, a respected moderate. It also marks a major victory night for Trump, who has taken the unusual step for a former president of picking sides in primaries – a way to solidify his role as party kingmaker while he weighs another White House run in 2024.

Trump undoubtedly tilted the race in Vance’s favor. Before his endorsement, Vance was trailing former Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel, another Trump acolyte, 28%-23%, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average of polls. Meanwhile, State Sen. Matt Dolan faded in the final stretch.

With more than 95% of the vote reporting late Tuesday night, Vance won 32.2% compared to Mandel’s 23.9% and Dolan’s 23.3%.

RELATED: There Are 11 Million Unfilled Jobs In America – Where Are The Workers?

Before and after Trump endorsed Vance, his GOP opponents spent millions of advertising dollars reminding voters that Vance had called himself a “Never Trumper” just a few years ago. The conservative Club for Growth’s sister PAC, which backed Mandel, funded an ad that Factcheck.org labeled “misleading” for suggesting that Vance had said some Trump supporters were motivated to back him because they are racist. In fact, the full Vance quote said most of Trump’s voters were inspired by his economic policies or “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

Peter Thiel, the billionaire founder of PayPal, channeled $13.5 million into a political action committee backing Vance in the race. Vance had worked for Theil as a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley before moving back to Ohio. Thiel, along with Trump, influenced Vance’s politics, especially when it comes to opposing China and placing stricter limits on immigration. Despite the infusion, Vance continued to run behind in the polls until Trump’s endorsement.

“The question presented in this primary was, ‘Do we want a border that protects our citizens? Do we want to ship our jobs to China or keep them right here in America for American workers? Do we want a Republican Party who stands for the donors who write checks to the Club for Growth or do we want the Republican Party for the people right here in Ohio?” he asked the crowd Tuesday evening.

Even though Trump’s endorsement inevitably boosted Vance’s candidacy, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Just two days before the primary, Trump appeared to flub J.D. Vance’s name when citing his endorsement, seemingly merging it with Vance’s opponent’s last name. A Newsmax host claimed that it wasn’t a gaffe by Trump but a way to hedge his bets in the race.

“We’ve endorsed … J.P? Right?” Trump asked during his Ohio stumping on Vance’s part Sunday. “J.D. Mandel – and he’s doing great.”

On Monday, Vance minimized the gaffe, saying Trump speaks with such enthusiasm and so often that he was bound to “misspeak” sometimes. Vance now faces Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan, who handily won his party’s primary with 69.7%, with approximately 96.1 of the votes counted, according to the Associated Press.

Another big boon for Trump in Ohio Tuesday was the primary victory of Max Miller, a former Trump campaign and White House aide, who won the Republican nomination for the newly written 7th Congressional District in Northeast Ohio. Miller led the pack as of late Tuesday night despite abuse allegations from his ex-girlfriend, former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham. Miller has denied it.

Miller was initially recruited to challenge Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, one of 10 House Republicans who voted in favor of Trump’s impeachment. But Gonzalez opted to retire instead.

J.R. Majewski, an Air Force veteran who painted a giant “Trump 2020” sign on his front lawn ahead of the last presidential election, won a crowded GOP nomination and this fall will face Rep. Marcy Kaptur, the longest-serving woman in the history of the House of Representatives. (Kaptur was first elected in 1982.) Majewski defeated Theresa Gavarone, Craig Riedel, and Beth Decker.

RELATED: Repair Shop Owner Who Serviced Hunter Biden’s Laptop Files Lawsuit Against Adam Schiff, CNN

And in a close contest in Ohio’s 13th district, southeast of Cleveland, Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, a lawyer, political commentator, and former Miss Ohio whom Trump endorsed, is projected to win her crowded GOP primary, defeating six other Republicans. She will face Emilia Sykes, the former House minority leader, who ran unopposed in her primary.

At the top of the Ohio state ticket, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine also survived the primary even though he is considered a moderate who does not back Trump. Still, the crowded primary kept DeWine’s showing under 50% even though he has served in some elected capacity in the state for more than 40 years.

DeWine was widely criticized by Republicans over the state’s COVID shutdowns, drawing three Republican opponents, including U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, former state Rep. Ron Hood, and farmer Joe Blyston. The three, however, split the Trump vote, leaving DeWine to pick up a solid 48.1% compared to Renacci’s 28%, Joe Blyston’s 21.8%, and Ron Hood’s 2.1%. DeWine will face Democrat Nan Whaley, the former mayor of Dayton in the general election.

Syndicated with permission from Real Clear Wire.

Susan Crabtree is RealClearPolitics’ White House/national political correspondent.

The post Tuesday Was A Huge Night For Trump – And J.D. Vance appeared first on The Political Insider.

Trump has no idea who is actually in Ohio’s primary, but we do. Here’s what to watch on Tuesday

After a two-month break, the 2022 primary season picks back up Tuesday in Ohio and Indiana, and we have plenty to watch. The main event is Ohio’s massively expensive Republican primary for the state's open Senate seat, where venture capitalist J.D. Vance is hoping that a late endorsement from Donald Trump will put him over the top (even if Trump himself hasn’t bothered to remember Vance’s name), but it’s far from the only primary on tap.

Below you'll find our guide to the key primaries to watch in both states. When it’s available, we'll tell you about any reliable polling that exists for each race, but if we don't mention any numbers, it means no recent surveys have been made public. And of course, because this is a redistricting year, both states on the docket have brand-new congressional maps. To help you follow along, you can find interactive maps from Dave's Redistricting App for both Indiana and Ohio

Polls close at 6 PM ET in the portion of Indiana located in the Eastern Time Zone, while the rest of the state follows an hour later. Voting concludes in Ohio at 7:30 PM ET, and our live coverage will begin then at Daily Kos Elections. You can also follow us on Twitter for blow-by-blow updates, and you’ll want to bookmark our primary calendar, which includes the dates for primaries in all 50 states. 

OH-Sen (R & D) (53-45 Trump): Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s retirement set off a crowded and extremely expensive GOP primary that features five serious contenders, though only one earned Donald Trump’s coveted endorsement in the final weeks of the contest. That candidate is venture capitalist J.D. Vance, the Hillbilly Elegy author and one-time vociferous Trump critic who has reinvented himself as a MAGA diehard. (Trump excused his old disloyalty at a recent rally, saying that while Vance “said some bad shit about me,” each of his rivals “did also.”) A super PAC largely funded by conservative megadonor Peter Thiel has also spent heavily to support Vance and has run ads touting Trump's seal of approval.

The other hopefuls and their allies, though, are still hoping that voters won’t be so forgiving of Vance’s past impieties. Former state Treasurer Josh Mandel, who lost the 2012 Senate race to Democrat Sherrod Brown, and his backers at the Club for Growth have continued airing ads highlighting Vance’s old anti-Trump comments. Wealthy businessman Mike Gibbons, who took second in the 2018 Senate primary, has also spent heavily on his own commercials, though he’s continued to focus on bashing Mandel. 

Listen to a breakdown of the May primaries on Daily Kos Elections’ The Downballot podcast with David Nir and David Beard

Another candidate to watch is Portman’s choice, former State Party Chair Jane Timken, though her decision to stop airing ads on broadcast TV late in the race is an ominous sign for her chances. Finally, there’s state Sen. Matt Dolan, who co-owns Cleveland's Major League Baseball team. Dolan, who is the one major candidate to condemn the Big Lie, has used his personal resources to run commercials touting himself as a more traditional conservative. Trump, meanwhile, has repeatedly attacked him for changing his team's name to the Guardians last year, a decision the state senator says he wasn’t involved in. 

We’ve seen a few polls since Vance won Trump’s endorsement, and they indicate he still doesn’t have the nod locked up. A Fox News survey found Vance leading Mandel by a small 23-18 margin, though Vance’s super PAC allies see him defeating the former treasurer 31-19. The Democratic firm Blueprint Polling, meanwhile, shows Dolan edging out Vance 18-17, with Gibbons and Mandel at 13% and 12%, respectively. 

Things are far less chaotic on the Democratic side, where Rep. Tim Ryan enjoys a huge financial edge over Morgan Harper, a former adviser to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Joyce Beatty for renomination in 2020, as well as two little-known candidates. 

The previews that follow are ordered by poll closing times and then race, with statewide contests first. 

IN-01 (R) (53-45 Biden): Seven Republicans are competing to take on freshman Democratic Rep. Frank Mrvan in this constituency in the northwestern corner of the state that changed minimally in redistricting, though the only two who have spent serious sums are former LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo and Air Force veteran Jennifer-Ruth Green. Milo, who went on to serve in Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration, entered the primary as the frontrunner, but Green has aired ads arguing that the former mayor is a "Never Trump liberal" who refused to back Trump in 2016. 

IN-09 (R) (63-35 Trump): Nine Republicans are running to succeed GOP Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, who unexpectedly announced in January that he would retire after just three terms, in this south-central Indiana seat that shifted eastward but remains a conservative bastion. Of the four most notable contenders, perhaps the most familiar name is former Rep. Mike Sodrel, who lost his bid for a second term in a far-more competitive version of the 9th in 2006 and waged failed campaigns to reclaim it over the following two cycles. Sodrel has mostly been self-funding his latest comeback bid, which has allowed him to outspend his many rivals. 

Former state Sen. Erin Houchin, who took second to Hollingsworth in 2016, is also trying again, and she’s benefited from almost $500,000 in aid from the cryptocurrency-aligned PAC American Dream Federal Action. Another name to watch is Army veteran Stu Barnes-Israel, who has also received over $900,000 in support from a group called Hoosier Values. (This post has been updated to reflect that PAC’s spending.) Rounding out the field is state Rep. J. Michael Davisson, who was appointed to the legislature last fall to succeed his late father, but he’s spent almost nothing

OH-Gov (R & D) (53-45 Trump): Republican Gov. Mike DeWine faces three intra-party foes, with former Rep. Jim Renacci looking like the most serious of the bunch—but that might be giving the ex-congressman too much credit. Renacci, who lost the 2018 Senate race to Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown, has spent his time trashing DeWine's handling of the pandemic, and he’s used his personal resources to self-fund most of his race. (“Why waste time trying to raise money when you’re running against an incumbent?” the former congressman recently mused.) However, DeWine and his allies have still enjoyed a massive financial edge

The contest also includes farmer Joe Blystone and former state Rep. Ron Hood, who badly lost last year's special election primary for the 15th Congressional District, and a recent poll indicates that they’re costing Renacci some vital anti-incumbent votes. A Fox News survey released in the final week of the primary gave DeWine a 43-24 advantage over the former congressman, with Blystone at 19%. 

The Democratic primary is a duel between two former mayors who each left office at the start of the year: Cincinnati's John Cranley and Dayton's Nan Whaley. Cranley has enjoyed a modest spending edge, while Whaley has the support of Brown, who is Ohio’s most prominent Democrat. Cranley went negative about two weeks ahead of Election Day with an attention-grabbing ad in which he compared the performance of Cincinnati with Dayton's during the two ex-mayors' time in office. 

OH-09 (R) (51-48 Trump): GOP mapmakers sought to weaken 20-term Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who has served in the House longer than any woman in history, by gerrymandering her Toledo-area seat, which under the old lines voted 59-40 for Biden. Two Republican state legislators are now running to take her on. State Sen. Theresa Gavarone enjoys the support of 5th District Rep. Bob Latta, who currently represents just over half the new 9th. State Rep. Craig Riedel, meanwhile, is backed by the infamous Jim Jordan, and he’s run ads pledging to join Jordan’s Freedom Caucus.  

Riedel has dominated the airwaves, with AdImpact reporting that he’d outspent Gavarone $290,000 to $43,000 on commercials going into the final week. J.R. Majewski, a conservative activist who has links to the QAnon conspiracy cult, has also generated some attention, but he has significantly fewer resources than either of his two rivals.

OH-11 (D) (78-21 Biden): Rep. Shontel Brown faces a Democratic primary rematch against former state Sen. Nina Turner, a prominent Bernie Sanders supporter whom she defeated in last year's special election in a 50-45 upset. Turner is hoping that she’ll gain ground now that the district has been redrawn to include all of her old base in Cleveland, but this time, she’s at a huge financial disadvantage as she goes up against the incumbent. Democratic Majority for Israel PAC, AIPAC, and the crypto industry-aligned Protect Our Future PAC have been airing ads in support of Brown, while Turner hasn’t benefited from any major outside spending. The congresswoman also earned an endorsement on Friday from President Biden.

OH-13 (R) (51-48 Biden): This seat in the southern suburbs of Akron and Cleveland, which is a radically reconfigured mashup of five old districts, is open thanks to some unusual circumstances: Two incumbents might've sought reelection here, but one, Democrat Tim Ryan, is running for Senate while another, Republican Anthony Gonzalez, opted to retire after voting to impeach Trump.

That's left us with a seven-way GOP primary, though Trump-endorsed attorney Madison Gesiotto Gilbert has decisively outspent her intraparty rivals. The field also includes former congressional aide Shay Hawkins, who lost a close 2020 race for the state House and whom The New York Times says is the one contender to air any TV ads. The winner will take on state Rep. Emilia Sykes, who faces no opposition in the Democratic primary.

Tuesday will be an exciting night, so we hope you’ll join us for our liveblog at Daily Kos Elections!

GOP congressman ends re-election bid after new map leaves him in tough primary vs. Trump-backed foe

Republican Rep. Bob Gibbs said Wednesday that he was ending his re-election bid for Ohio’s 7th Congressional District, a surprising announcement that came well after candidate filing closed and days following the start of early voting for the state’s May 3 primary. The six-term congressman’s abrupt retirement leaves former Trump aide Max Miller as the frontrunner to claim a seat in the Canton area and Akron suburbs that Trump would have carried 54-45. Gibbs’ name will remain on the ballot, but the secretary of state’s office says that any votes cast for him will not be counted.

Gibbs used his departure announcement to express his anger at the state Supreme Court, which is not scheduled to rule on the fate of the new GOP-drawn congressional map until well after the primary. “It is irresponsible to effectively confirm the congressional map for this election cycle seven days before voting begins,” said the incumbent, “especially in the Seventh Congressional District, where almost 90 percent of the electorate is new and nearly two-thirds is an area primarily from another district, foreign to any expectations or connection to the current Seventh District.” To put it another way, a mere 9% of the residents of the new 7th are already Gibbs' constituents, so he would have been campaigning in largely unfamiliar turf.

Miller, by contrast, began the cycle by running against Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who has since announced his own retirement, in the old 16th District, which makes up 65% of the new 7th. Miller, who was one of Trump’s favorite aides (an unnamed source told Politico that the two “had … kind of a unique ‘bro’ relationship”) received his old boss’ backing last year against Gonzalez, who voted for impeachment.

Miller ended up taking on Gibbs after redistricting led them to seek the same seat, and Trump’s spokesperson said last month that the endorsement carried over to Miller’s new campaign against the far-more loyal incumbent. Miller last year also filed a defamation lawsuit against his ex-girlfriend, former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, after she accused him of physically attacking her in 2020.

Gibbs himself got his start in elected office in 2002 when he won a seat in the Ohio state House, and he won a promotion six years later to the state Senate. Gibbs in 2009 set his sights on challenging Democratic Rep. Zack Space in the now-defunct 18th Congressional District, a historically red area in the eastern part of the state that had favored John McCain 52-45, but he had to get past seven fellow Republicans in the following year’s primary first.

Gibbs (who happened to share a name with the Obama White House’s press secretary), had the support of the party establishment, including House Minority Leader John Boehner, and he benefited after tea party activists failed to back a single alternative. The state senator ultimately beat 2008 nominee Fred Dailey, who had lost to Space 60-40, in a 20.9-20.7 squeaker, though it took another month to confirm Gibbs’ 156-vote victory.

The general election turned out to be a far easier contest for Gibbs in what was rapidly turning into a GOP wave year. Space went on the offensive early by portraying his opponent as a tax hiker and a supporter of free trade agreements, but Gibbs ended up unseating him in a 54-40 landslide. Redistricting two years later left the new congressman with a new district, now numbered the 7th, that was largely unfamiliar to him, but unlike in 2022, he faced no serious intra-party opposition in this red constituency. Democrats in 2018 hoped that well-funded Navy veteran Ken Harbaugh could give Gibbs a serious fight, but the congressman decisively turned him back 59-41.

Morning Digest: New House fundraising reports shed light on incumbent-vs.-incumbent races

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Daniel Donner, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

Leading Off

Fundraising: Daily Kos Elections is pleased to present our comprehensive roundups of fundraising data for the final three months of 2021 for both the House and the Senate.

With redistricting underway—and complete in many states—many sitting representatives have now found themselves paired with colleagues in redrawn House districts. These new reports are the first to give us insight into these incumbent-vs.-incumbent matchups, which at the moment number seven in total.

The first to come online was the contest in the deeply conservative 2nd District in West Virginia, which completed the remapping process in October. Thanks to the loss of a seat in reapportionment, two Republicans, Alex Mooney and David McKinley, got thrown together in the northern half of the state. McKinley swamped Mooney in the fourth quarter, outraising him $599,000 to $199,000 and self-funding another half-million for good measure. But because Mooney had stockpiled much more money prior to the start of most recent fundraising period, he still finished with a cash lead of $2.4 million to $1.6 million.

Campaign Action

McKinley, however, has an important advantage: He currently represents two-thirds of the new district, with Mooney representing the remaining third. Mooney, conversely, won Donald Trump's seal of approval in November … but he's under investigation for allegedly misusing campaign funds. How these factors will all balance out is hard to say, though, as the two sides have released competing polls showing them each with fairly modest leads. It'll all get settled soon enough, though, as the primary is on May 10.

Here's how things stack up in the other half-dozen similarly situated races:

  • GA-07: Lucy McBath beat out Carolyn Bourdeaux $736,000 to $400,000 and had $3.2 million on-hand versus $2.4 million in this safely blue seat in the Atlanta suburbs. A third candidate in the Democratic primary, state Rep. Donna McLeod, raised just $22,0000. Bourdeaux represents 57% of the district and McBath just 12%. The primary is May 24, with a June 21 runoff if no one takes a majority. Polling for McBath and her allies has found her leading by about 10 to 20 points.
  • IL-06: Sean Casten more than doubled up fellow Democrat Marie Newman, taking in $699,000 to her $337,000. He also has almost twice the bankroll: $1.9 million to $1 million for Newman. But Newman represents 41% of this solidly blue seat in the Chicago area while Casten represents 23%. However, she also faces an ethics investigation into charges she sought to keep a potential primary opponent out of the race when she ran in 2020 by offering him a job as a top aide if she won. The two will face off on June 28.
  • IL-15: Rodney Davis, the more moderate of the two Republicans running in this deep red district in central Illinois, raised $410,000 compared to $164,000 for Mary Miller, who has Trump's endorsement. Davis also has $1.8 million saved up while Miller had just $783,000 at her disposal. Both are encountering a lot of new turf, though: Miller represents 31% of the new district and Davis 28%.
  • MI-04: This matchup hasn't yet firmed up: Bill Huizenga, a Trump loyalist, has said he'll seek re-election in this red-tilting district in southwestern Michigan, but Fred Upton, who voted for impeachment, has yet to announce his plans. Upton certainly keeps bringing in the bucks like he expects to run again, though: He raised $719,000 to Huizenga's $396,000 and has a $1.6 million to $1.2 million cash edge. A third candidate, state Rep. Steve Carra, recently switched districts to run here but raised just $129,000. However, Trump did endorse him when he was running one-on-one against Upton, who represents 64% of this seat; Huizenga represents 25%. The primary is not until Aug. 2.
  • MI-11: Haley Stevens outraised Andy Levin $627,000 to $335,000 in this blue district in the Detroit suburbs, and also has much more money to spend: $2.6 million versus $1.3 million. In addition, Stevens represents 45% of the district while Levin represents 25%. Levin could still change course and run in the open 10th—a much swingier seat, but one he already represents two-thirds of. A recent Stevens internal showed her up 7 points.
  • NC-11: This solidly red district in the Greensboro region is the only one that's lumped together members of opposite parties: Democrat Kathy Manning, who raised $280,000 and had $1.1 million left over, and Republican Virginia Foxx, who took in $231,000 and finished with $957,000 in her war chest. Manning represents 42% of the redrawn 11th and Foxx 30%, but it would have voted 57-42 for Trump, making Foxx the overwhelming favorite. Manning, however, hasn't yet said whether she'll seek re-election, likely because a lawsuit challenging the GOP's new map is pending before the state Supreme Court.

The number of intramural battles could grow or shrink in the coming months as the remapping process continues to unfold and various members settle on their plans or alter them. In the meantime, you can dig deeper into all of these numbers and many, many more for both the House and the Senate by checking out our new charts.

Redistricting

FL Redistricting: Both chambers of Florida's Republican-run legislature have passed new legislative maps, which Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis does not have the power to either sign or veto. However, the state constitution requires the new maps to first be reviewed by the state's conservative Supreme Court to determine their "validity" before they can become law. Whatever the justices decide, litigation is likely, as critics have charged that the maps fail to adequately increase representation for communities of color even though most of the state's growth has come from Black and Latino residents.

Meanwhile, congressional redistricting is now paused as DeSantis has asked the Supreme Court for an advisory opinion as to whether a new map can legally dismantle the plurality-Black 5th District, held by Democrat Al Lawson. A map that ignored DeSantis' wishes and left the 5th largely intact passed the state Senate last month, but the House says it will wait until the justices rule before proceeding further.

NY Redistricting: Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul signed new congressional and legislative maps on Thursday evening, just hours after lawmakers in the Democratic-run legislature completed work on new districts for their own chambers. The congressional plan, if it works as Democrats intend, could bump their advantage in the state’s delegation from 19-8 to 22-4.

WA Redistricting: Washington's Democratic-run state House approved congressional and legislative maps drawn by the state's bipartisan redistricting commission with minor tweaks in a wide bipartisan vote on Wednesday. The plans now head to the state Senate, which must act by Feb. 8.

Senate

AZ-Sen: The radical anti-tax Club for Growth has endorsed Blake Masters, a top aide to conservative megadonor Peter Thiel who also has the support of a super PAC funded by his boss, in the crowded August Republican primary to face Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly.

Ohio: Candidate filing closed on Wednesday for most of the offices that will be on Ohio's May 3 primary ballot, but the legislature previously moved the deadline for U.S. House races to March 4. That delay came about because the state Supreme Court struck down the Republican-drawn congressional map as an illegal partisan gerrymander in mid-January, and new boundaries have yet to be approved.

But the situation is also unclear for candidates for the state legislature, who still had to file Wednesday. The state's highest court likewise threw out the GOP's legislative maps last month, and Republicans on Ohio's bipartisan redistricting commission approved new ones on Jan. 22―just eight days before the filing deadline. The court has said it would "retain jurisdiction for the purpose of reviewing the new plan adopted by the commission," so no one knows yet if these new districts will be final.

Some legislative candidates responded to the uncertainty by simply ending their campaigns, though one congressional contender tried something different. Attorney Shay Hawkins, a Republican who last year announced a bid for the 13th District, filed Tuesday for a seat in the legislature and said he'd make an ultimate decision about which office to seek once congressional districts are in place. (Based on state deadlines, that might not be until March or later.)

A list of statewide candidates can be found at the secretary of state's site, but anyone looking for a list of legislative candidates won't be able to find them all from a single official source. That's because candidates for district-level office file with the county that makes up the largest proportion of their district rather than with the state, so lists of contenders can only be found on county election sites. Below we'll run down the fields in the Buckeye State's marquee statewide races for Senate and governor.

OH-Sen: On Thursday evening, one day after candidate filing closed, wealthy businessman Bernie Moreno announced that he was dropping out of what’s now an eight-person Republican primary to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman. Moreno, who kicked off a $4 million TV ad campaign in December, said, “After talking to President Trump we both agreed this race has too many Trump candidates and could cost the MAGA movement a conservative seat.” 

The development came one day after another Republican contender, former state Treasurer, Josh Mandel, released a WPA Intelligence poll arguing that he has the lead in this extremely expensive primary. The toplines are below, with the numbers from an early January WPA survey for Mandel's allies at the Club for Growth in parenthesis:

former state Treasurer Josh Mandel: 28 (26)

Businessman Mike Gibbons: 17 (14)

Venture capitalist J.D. Vance: 13 (10)

former state party chair Jane Timken: 9 (15)

Businessman Bernie Moreno: 6 (7)

State Sen. Matt Dolan: 5 (4)

Three other Republicans are also in, but none of them have been making a serious effort.

Timken, Moreno, and Gibbons have themselves released polls this year, each arguing that neither Mandel nor anyone else has a decisive lead. (Though Moreno’s subsequent departure indicates that he didn’t feel good about his own path to victory.) What every survey we've seen agrees on, however, is that Dolan is in last place. That's not a surprise, though: In September, Donald Trump blasted the state senator, who co-owns Cleveland's Major League Baseball team, over its plans to change its name, snarling, "I know of at least one person in the race who I won't be endorsing."

Dolan is trying to better his fortunes by using personal wealth to go on TV, but he's far from alone: The Republican firm Medium Buying reports that close to $24 million has already been spent or reserved to air ads. The GOP primary will likely get far more expensive still, as all six of these contenders ended 2021 with at least $1 million in the bank. Their fourth quarter fundraising numbers are below:

  • Timken: $595,000 raised, additional $1.5 million self-funded, $3.6 million cash-on-hand
  • Vance: $530,000 raised, $1.1 million cash-on-hand
  • Mandel: $370,000 raised, $6 million cash-on-hand
  • Dolan: $360,000 raised, additional $10.5 million self-funded, $10.4 million cash-on-hand
  • Gibbons: $70,000 raised, additional $3.5 million self-funded, $6.4 million cash-on-hand

Things are far less chaotic on the Democratic side, where Rep. Tim Ryan is the likely nominee. He faces Morgan Harper, a former advisor to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Joyce Beatty for renomination in 2020, as well as two little-known candidates. Ryan outraised Harper $2.9 million to $335,000 in the most recent quarter, and he held a $5 million to $435,000 cash-on-hand edge.

Team Blue's eventual nominee will face a tough task in November in a longtime swing state that lurched hard to the right in the Trump era, but Democrats are hoping that a bloody GOP primary will give them a larger opening.

Governors

FL-Gov: Rep. Charlie Crist has released a GBAO Strategies survey giving him a 54-28 lead over state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried in the August Democratic primary, with state Sen. Annette Taddeo at 7%. We haven't seen any other surveys of the contest to face Republican incumbent Ron DeSantis since well before Taddeo entered the race last October.

GA-Gov: Democrat Stacey Abrams announced she raised a massive $9.2 million in the month since she kicked off her second bid for governor and says she ended January with $7.2 million in the bank. Her red-hot pace outstripped Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who brought in $7.4 million in the second half of 2021, though he has a considerably larger $12.7 million war chest. Kemp, however, will have to spend much of that money in his already bitter primary feud with former Sen. David Perdue, who has yet to say how much he's raised and "has tried to downplay expectations," according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution's Greg Bluestein.

HI-Gov: Hawaii News Now has gathered the fundraising reports for the second half of 2021, and the numbers for the three major Democrats are below:

  • Lt. Gov. Josh Green: $775,000 raised, $1.1 million cash-on-hand
  • Businesswoman Vicky Cayetano: $475,000 raised, additional $350,000 self-funded, $655,000 cash-on-hand
  • former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell: $345,000 raised, $720,000 cash-on-hand

None of the Republicans currently in the race have reported raising a notable amount.

IA-Gov: The Des Moines Register's Brianne Pfannenstiel relays that some Iowa Democrats are seeking an alternative to Deidre DeJear, the 2018 secretary of state nominee who ended last year with less than $10,000 on-hand, though there's no sign anyone else is looking to take on Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds. Pfannenstiel writes that some of "the names being floated" are 2018 nominee Fred Hubbell, state Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald, and state Reps. Chris Hall and Todd Prichard, but none of them have shown any obvious interest in getting in ahead of the March 18 filing deadline.

ME-Gov: Former state Sen. Tom Saviello said this week that he would not run as an independent. That's probably welcome news for Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, whom Saviello backed in 2018.

MD-Gov: The Democratic Governors Association is out with new numbers from Public Policy Polling arguing that Del. Dan Cox, a Trump-endorsed candidate who played a role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol by organizing a busload of people to attend the rally that preceded it, is well-positioned in the June Republican primary in this dark blue state.

Cox leads former state Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz, who has termed-out Gov. Larry Hogan's backing, 20-12, with a huge 68% majority undecided. (The poll did not include Robin Ficker, a perennial candidate who has self-funded $1.1 million.) But after respondents are told that Trump is supporting Cox while Schulz is backed by termed-out Gov. Larry Hogan, the delegate's margin balloons to 52-18. This is the very first poll we've seen of this primary.

MN-Gov: SurveyUSA, polling on behalf of a trio of Minnesota TV stations, tests Democratic Gov. Tim Walz against six different Republican foes, and it finds things considerably closer than when it went into the field in December. The results are below, with the firm's earlier numbers in parentheses:

  • 43-40 vs. former state Sen. Scott Jensen (48-36)
  • 42-37 vs. state Sen. Paul Gazelka (47-34)
  • 45-37 vs. state Sen. Michelle Benson (47-35)
  • 43-35 vs. healthcare executive Kendall Qualls
  • 44-35 vs. Lexington Mayor Mike Murphy (47-36)
  • 45-34 vs. physician Neil Shah (48-31)

The earlier numbers did not include Qualls, who launched his bid last month. Former Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, who announced this week, was also not asked about in either poll.

Even though SurveyUSA shows Walz losing ground since December, he still posts a 45-37 favorable rating, which is the same margin as his 47-39 score from last time. His many opponents, by contrast, remain pretty anonymous: Even Jensen, who comes the closest in the head-to-heads, only sports a 18-12 favorable image.

NE-Gov: The Nebraska Examiner has collected all the 2021 fundraising numbers for the Republicans competing in the May primary to succeed termed-out Gov. Pete Ricketts:

  • University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen: $4.4 million raised, additional $1 million self-funded, $4.2 million cash-on-hand
  • State Sen. Brett Lindstrom: $1.6 million raised, $1.4 million cash-on-hand
  • Agribusinessman Charles Herbster: $200,000 raised, additional $4.7 million self-funded, $637,000 cash-on-hand
  • former state Sen. Theresa Thibodeau: $106,000 raised, additional $7,000 self-funded, $87,000 cash-on-hand

Amusingly, Ricketts, who poured $12 million of his money into his unsuccessful 2006 campaign against Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson, pooh-poohed Herbster's personal investment to the Examiner, saying that self-funding looks like "you're trying to buy the race." Ricketts, who is backing Pillen, added, "You want to engage Nebraskans across the state to invest in your campaign. And clearly Charles Herbster is not getting Nebraskans to invest in his campaign."

The only notable Democrat in the race, state Sen. Carol Blood, took in $76,000 and had $37,000 to spend.

NY-Gov: Rep. Lee Zeldin's first TV spot ahead of the June Republican primary features several photos of Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul with her disgraced predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, as the narrator argues that the state is in poor shape. The ad goes on to exalt Zeldin as a veteran who has "won seven tough elections" and a "tax-fighting, trusted conservative." There is no word on the size of the buy.

OH-Gov: Republican Gov. Mike DeWine faces three intra-party foes, but only former Rep. Jim Renacci appears to have the resources to make trouble for him. Renacci has filled his coffers with millions from his own wallet, though skeptical Republicans remember that he barely used any of the money he loaned himself for his 2018 Senate campaign, which ended in a 53-47 loss to Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown. Also in the running are farmer Joe Blystone and former state Rep. Ron Hood, who badly lost last year's special election primary for the 15th Congressional District.

Renacci, who has spent his time trashing DeWine's handling of the pandemic, last week dropped a poll showing him leading the incumbent 46-38 in a two-way race. A Renacci win would represent a major upset, but no one else has responded with contradictory numbers.

The Democratic primary is a duel between two former mayors who each left office at the start of the year: Cincinnati's John Cranley and Dayton's Nan Whaley. The only poll we've seen was a Whaley internal she publicized last week giving her a 33-20 edge, but with a 48% plurality undecided. The former mayors both ended 2021 with close to $2 million to spend apiece.

OK-Gov: Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt outraised Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister, a Republican-turned-Democrat, $1.2 million to $540,000 during the fourth quarter, and he ended 2021 with a $2.3 million to $435,000 cash-on-hand lead.

House

IL-03: State Rep. Delia Ramirez has picked up the support of the Illinois Federation of Teachers in the June Democratic primary for this safely blue open seat. Ramirez's main intra-party opponent is Chicago Alderman Gilbert Villegas, who outraised her $385,000 to $115,000 during the fourth quarter of 2021 (the first in the race for both candidates) and ended December with a $375,000 to $110,000 cash-on-hand.

MI-10: Eric Esshaki, who was the 2020 Republican nominee in the old 11th District, announced Thursday that he was dropping out of the August primary for the new (and open) 10th District and would instead endorse two-time Senate nominee John James. James, who launched his House bid on Monday, currently is the only notable Republican seeking this suburban Detroit seat, which Donald Trump would have carried 50-49.

OR-06: Carrick Flynn, who has worked as a University of Oxford associate researcher, announced Tuesday that he was entering the Democratic primary for Oregon’s brand-new 6th District. Flynn filed FEC paperwork on Jan. 21 and said he had $430,000 banked after 10 days.

RI-02: State Rep. Teresa Tanzi said Thursday that she would not compete in the September Democratic primary for this open seat.

TX-08: The March 1 Republican primary to succeed retiring Rep. Kevin Brady has turned into what the Texas Tribune's Patrick Svitek characterizes as an expensive "proxy war" between retired Navy SEAL Morgan Luttrell, who has the House GOP leadership in his corner, and Christian Collins, a former Brady campaign manager backed by Sen. Ted Cruz and his allies in the nihilistic House Freedom Caucus.

Luttrell far outraised Collins during the fourth quarter, $1.2 million to $335,000, and ended 2021 with a $1.6 million to $290,000 cash-on-hand lead. Collins, however, is getting some serious reinforcements: Svitek reports that three super PACs almost entirely funded by a Cruz ally, banker Robert Marling, have spent $800,000 for Collins while Luttrell has yet to benefit from any outside money.

The story notes that the two leading candidates for this safely red suburban Houston district don't seem to actually disagree on anything substantive, but Collins has been trying hard to frame the race as a battle between D.C. power players and "those who are the tip of the spear." He's also been seeking to use Luttrell's connections against him, including the $5,000 donation the SEAL veteran received from the PAC of Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who voted to impeach Donald Trump. Luttrell distanced himself from the congressman in January, saying he "didn't know the check was cashed," but a Kinzinger spokesperson told the Tribune that the donation was made "because it was solicited."

Luttrell, who is a close ally of former Gov. Rick Perry, has been focusing far more on his own military background, with his first ad talking about his recovery after a devastating helicopter crash. Luttrell also enjoys the backing of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who is one of the most powerful far-right politicians in Texas, as well as 13th District Rep. Ronny Jackson, who was Trump's failed nominee for secretary of veteran's affairs in 2018. Nine other candidates are on the ballot, and while none of them have attracted much attention, they could keep Luttrell or Collins from winning the majority of the vote needed to avert a runoff.

TX-15: Insurance agent Monica De La Cruz's newest TV ad for the March 1 Republican primary features her flying over the border with Mexico as she bemoans how "socialists are ruining our border security, our values, and our economy." She concludes by pledging to "finish what Trump started."

VA-07: Spotsylvania County Supervisor David Ross said this week that he was joining the June Republican primary to take on Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger.

Mayors

Los Angeles, CA Mayor: Los Angeles Magazine has summarized fundraising reports spanning the second half of 2021, which show Rep. Karen Bass went into the new year with a sizable financial edge over her many opponents in the June nonpartisan primary to lead this very blue city:

  • Rep. Karen Bass: $1.9 million raised, $1.6 million cash-on-hand
  • City Councilmember Kevin de León: $1.2 million raised, $1.2 million cash-on-hand
  • Central City Association head Jessica Lall: $405,000 raised, $265,000 cash-on-hand
  • City Councilmember Joe Buscaino: $375,000 raised, $575,000 cash-on-hand
  • City Attorney Mike Feuer: $245,000 raised, $525,000 cash-on-hand
  • Businessman Ramit Varma: $180,000 raised, additional $1.5 million self-funded, $1.7 million cash-on-hand
  • Real estate broker Mel Wilson: $141,000 raised, $37,000 cash-on-hand

Perhaps the biggest question looming over the race ahead of the Feb. 12 filing deadline is whether real estate developer Rick Caruso, who has flirted with running before, gets in this time. Caruso recently changed his voter registration from unaffiliated to Democratic, a move that came almost a decade after he left the GOP. The developer now describes himself as a "pro-centrist, pro-jobs, pro-public safety Democrat."

As Republicans beg Trump to focus on future, his first rally in Ohio aims to avenge his impeachment

Donald Trump’s first stop on his scorched-earth tour to punish Republicans who spurned him with impeachment votes is set to take place in Cleveland on June 26, according to CNN. First target: GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, representing Ohio's 16th District, which covers some of Cleveland's West Side suburbs extending down into rural Akron.

Gonzalez, a former wide receiver for Ohio State University-turned-pro-baller, is in Trump's crosshairs for being one of 10 House Republicans to vote for his impeachment and also joining with nearly three-dozen of his GOP colleagues to vote in favor of an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack. In May, the Ohio Republican Party voted to censure Gonzalez and called on him to resign for his impeachment vote. 

Now Trump will be using his first rally to support one of Gonzalez's primary opponents, Max Miller, a former Trump administration official and campaign aide. Trump had previously endorsed Miller in a February statement calling him "a Marine veteran, a son of Ohio, and a true PATRIOT."

News of the inaugural revenge rally comes amid a backdrop of distress signals from Republicans at both the state and federal level who fear Trump’s relentless focus on relitigating the past will cripple them in the midterms. Trump is also expected to hold a rally in Tampa, Florida, on the eve of July 4, with upcoming rallies in Alabama and Georgia yet to be decided.

But Trump's first stop will be devoted to his effort to eliminate any Republican willing to think for themselves and put country above Trump. 

In May, Gonzalez told attendees of a virtual forum hosted by the City Club of Cleveland, "I think as a party, frankly, we need to be on the side of truth, we need to be on the side of substance, and that’s how we’re going to win back majorities both in the House and the Senate and hopefully the White House in 2024. … I think continuing to perpetuate falsehoods, especially ones that are dangerous that led to the violence on Jan. 6, is a recipe for disaster for the party, but it’s also horribly irresponsible."

Trump simply cannot tolerate that type of thinking, nor could he survive it if it actually took hold in the Republican Party more broadly. Fortunately for him, the GOP is overrun with a bunch of spineless sycophants like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

As Republicans beg Trump to focus on future, his first rally in Ohio aims to avenge his impeachment

Donald Trump’s first stop on his scorched-earth tour to punish Republicans who spurned him with impeachment votes is set to take place in Cleveland on June 26, according to CNN. First target: GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, representing Ohio's 16th District, which covers some of Cleveland's West Side suburbs extending down into rural Akron.

Gonzalez, a former wide receiver for Ohio State University-turned-pro-baller, is in Trump's crosshairs for being one of 10 House Republicans to vote for his impeachment and also joining with nearly three-dozen of his GOP colleagues to vote in favor of an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack. In May, the Ohio Republican Party voted to censure Gonzalez and called on him to resign for his impeachment vote. 

Now Trump will be using his first rally to support one of Gonzalez's primary opponents, Max Miller, a former Trump administration official and campaign aide. Trump had previously endorsed Miller in a February statement calling him "a Marine veteran, a son of Ohio, and a true PATRIOT."

News of the inaugural revenge rally comes amid a backdrop of distress signals from Republicans at both the state and federal level who fear Trump’s relentless focus on relitigating the past will cripple them in the midterms. Trump is also expected to hold a rally in Tampa, Florida, on the eve of July 4, with upcoming rallies in Alabama and Georgia yet to be decided.

But Trump's first stop will be devoted to his effort to eliminate any Republican willing to think for themselves and put country above Trump. 

In May, Gonzalez told attendees of a virtual forum hosted by the City Club of Cleveland, "I think as a party, frankly, we need to be on the side of truth, we need to be on the side of substance, and that’s how we’re going to win back majorities both in the House and the Senate and hopefully the White House in 2024. … I think continuing to perpetuate falsehoods, especially ones that are dangerous that led to the violence on Jan. 6, is a recipe for disaster for the party, but it’s also horribly irresponsible."

Trump simply cannot tolerate that type of thinking, nor could he survive it if it actually took hold in the Republican Party more broadly. Fortunately for him, the GOP is overrun with a bunch of spineless sycophants like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Gretchen Whitmer Rebuffed By Michigan County As Residents Are Told To ‘Self-Determine’ Safety Measures

A Michigan county defied Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) this week by passing a resolution that tells residents to do what is in their own self-interest when it comes to safety measures regarding COVID-19.

Michigan County Rebels Against Whitmer

Missaukee County commissioners directly went against Whitmer in saying that it is “the right and responsibility of individuals to self-determine what is best for their own health, liberty and pursuit of happiness is necessary and ensured by our Constitution, which we have taken an oath to defend and uphold,” according to meeting minutes from February 9.

“The Missaukee County Commission calls upon the Michigan Legislature to exercise their co-equal authority by adopting constitutionally sound measures which limit the unchecked exercise and abuse of executive power, which restore individual responsibility and accountability, and which return Michigan to the ranks of freedom-loving governments everywhere,” the commissioner added.

The Missaukee County Commission went on to say that it would not support county funds being used “for the purpose of arrest and prosecution of any person accused of violating” orders from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

This is the agency that Whitmer utilized when her executive orders were ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court in October.

Related: Gretchen Whitmer Claims She ‘Can’t Stand People Who Have One Rule For Others, Different One For Themselves’

Commissioner Speaks Out 

Commissioner Star Hughston, the sponsor of the resolution, told Breitbart that the commissioners just want residents to be treated like adults, as they believe they can make their own decisions.

Hughston added that this is not about the science behind COVID-19, and is instead about whether the governor has the right to “come down with these rules.”

“No one had the right, especially her, to tell us that we have to” wear masks, close businesses, and her various other orders, he said, adding, “We are not idiots. We can decide what is best for us, and if you choose to wear a face mask and you have health concerns, then in my opinion, you would need to wear one. But if you don’t choose to wear one, then it’s your right.”

Related: Gretchen Whitmer Finally Relaxes Restaurant Restrictions After Biden Is Inaugurated

This comes one month after Chippewa County called on Whitmer to reopen the state “immediately.”

“At this point it just doesn’t make sense anymore that we’re closed,” Commissioner Scott Shackleton told 9&10 News. “Wisconsin is open for dining—in house dining. Indiana is, Ohio is, Minnesota is, and here we sit closed up tight.”

Whitmer has become infamous in many circles over the past years for enacting some of the strictest COVID-19 measures in the country on her state.

This piece was written by James Samson on February 13, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
James Clyburn Issues Brutal Warning To Trump – ‘This Is Just The Beginning’
Van Der Veen Owns Impeachment Trial Fourth Day
Lindsey Graham Predicts ‘Not Guilty’ Impeachment Votes Are Growing After ‘Absurd’ Arguments From Democrats

The post Gretchen Whitmer Rebuffed By Michigan County As Residents Are Told To ‘Self-Determine’ Safety Measures appeared first on The Political Insider.

Ohio Republicans Launch Bid To Make June 14 ‘President Donald J. Trump Day’

Two Republicans from Ohio have launched an effort to make June 14 “President Donald J. Trump Day” in their state.

Republicans Launch Effort For ‘President Donald J. Trump Day’

State Reps. Reggie Stoltzfus of Paris Twp. and Jon Cross of Kenton are reportedly preparing to introduce a bill in the Ohio House of Representatives to make this holiday, according to the Ohio Capital Journal.

June 14 is both Trump’s birthday and Flag Day. Stoltzfus and Cross said that the bill is meant to show the three million Ohioans that voted for Trump “that we as a legislature recognize the accomplishments of his administration, and that the Ohio House believes it is imperative we set aside a day to celebrate one of the greatest presidents in American history.”

Related: Top Dem Accuses Trump Of ‘Actively Courting A Rise Of The Confederacy’ And ‘Civil War In Our Country’

“(Trump) personified the emotions of millions of Ohioans who for too long have felt marginalized by our government and the American political system,” they added.

“While the media tarnishes his achievements and his legacy, the legislation will help ensure that for one day each year the voices of millions of people from all corners of our state will be commemorated,” they said. 

Rep. Jeff Crossman (D-Parma) told The Columbus Dispatch that he felt the date would be “disrespectful.”

“I don’t like the idea of changing an existing federal holiday that honors the flag,” Corssman said.

Washington Post Calls For Trump To Be Denied Presidential Library

This comes after the Washington Post published a piece by “art and architecture critic” Philip Kennicott calling for Trump to not be given a presidential library.

“Trump must never have an official presidential library, and Congress should move quickly to make sure he never will,” Kennicott wrote, adding that Trump cannot be trusted to handle documents relating to his presidency, because he “mixed public and private interests.”

Related: Washington Post Article Demands No Presidential Library For Trump, Calls It ‘Issue Of National Security’

He went on to say that Trump may use his presidential library to brag about his success, which should not be allowed.

“The danger of Trump using a presidential library to burnish his image is far more serious, with the ex-president and his surrogates still promoting the idea that his electoral loss was somehow fraudulent,” Kennicott said.

“That creates an ongoing uncertainty in American public life, which Trump and even more unscrupulous actors will use to further division, inflame tension, exacerbate racism and delegitimize the American democratic system,” he added. 

This piece was written by James Samson on January 30, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
RNC Chair McDaniel Lays Out Mundane Agenda
Schumer Unloads On Republicans Refusing To Support Impeachment – Vows To Hold Trial
Ilhan Omar Says If Republicans Won’t Remove ‘Dangerous And Violent’ Marjorie Taylor Greene, Then ‘We Must Do It’

The post Ohio Republicans Launch Bid To Make June 14 ‘President Donald J. Trump Day’ appeared first on The Political Insider.

John Kasich Tells Don Lemon That Some Trump Supporters Might Still Be Redeemable

Former Ohio governor John Kasich, in an interview with CNN anchor Don Lemon, suggested some Trump supporters “are redeemable.”

Kasich (R), who unsuccessfully ran against former President Trump in 2016 and endorsed Joe Biden in 2020, suggested to Lemon that supporters must confess their sins before being welcomed back into the fold.

In other words, confess that the Capitol riots were as bad as the media portrays and the whole event is all Trump’s fault.

“Honestly, Don, what we have to ask ourselves are, who’s redeemable?” he said. “Who we bring over to say this is — this is just wrong. This never happened this way.”

“And we’ve got to figure out how to talk to some of those people and reach them, Don, and get them back.”

“Some of them are redeemable. I can tell you they are. And you know that some of them are, don’t you?” Kasich continued. “You’ve met them. They’ve gone up to you and said, ‘Lemon, you’re right.'”

RELATED: Dead On Arrival: 45 Republicans – Including McConnell – Vote That Trump’s Impeachment Trial Is Unconstitutional

John Kasich Tells Don Lemon Some Trump Supporters Are Redeemable

For his part, Lemon wasn’t buying the notion that some Trump supporters are redeemable, as John Kasich suggests.

“How do you reason with unreasonable people?” he asked.

“No matter how many times you show them video of Trump supporters and people – hundreds – 150 or so, or close to it, who have been arrested from the Capitol … that is not living in reality,” Lemon added.

“Why would you even want to reason with those people?”

‘Not living in reality’ is Lemon, who is super-despondent over what happened at the Capitol but denied the reality of leftist-led race riots over the summer.

Lemon suggested rioters setting cities ablaze in the name of racial justice were comparable to American revolutionaries.

“Our country was started because, the Boston tea party. Rioting,” the CNN flak said as footage of arsons and looting were emerging.

“So do not get it twisted and think this is something that has never happened before and this is so terrible and these savages and all of that,” he continued. “This is how this country was started.”

Was Lemon ever taken to task for inciting violence, for voicing support for the overthrow of law and order?

RELATED: Tulsi Gabbard Hammers Schiff, Brennan As ‘Domestic Enemies’ More Dangerous Than Capitol Protesters

Trump Supporters Need to Be Deprogrammed

Kasich’s argument that some of the “redeemable” Trump supporters could one day see the light is reminiscent of several liberals who have suggested they need to be deprogrammed in some way.

Television personality Katie Couric recently asked, “How are we going to really almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump?”

Washington Post columnist and MSNBC contributor Eugene Robinson, likewise, said Trump supporters are “members of a cult” and that they need to be both “deprogrammed” and “reprogrammed.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argued that “white supremacy” is a poison represented by President Trump, then suggested the government needs to “double, triple, or quadruple the funding” into programs that “deradicalize” brainwashed white supremacists.

People like AOC, Lemon, and Kasich don’t want unity, they want you brainwashed just as they have been.

The post John Kasich Tells Don Lemon That Some Trump Supporters Might Still Be Redeemable appeared first on The Political Insider.

Even a Republican governor isn’t safe from Trump followers on an anti-good government rampage

At this point, the number of politicians being threatened by Donald Trump-supporting extremists could merit its own news channel, and its own division at the FBI. There has been the scheme to kidnap and/or murder Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer by right-wing militia groups egged on by Trump; there’s been the MAGA bomber who mailed out 16 bombs to Democratic leaders including Joe Biden and Kamala Harris; there’s been a plan to kill Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam; and there have been at least two threats to assassinate Joe Biden, one of which brought the AR-15-carrying assassin practically to Biden’s doorstep. But the latest target of the extremists is Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. As in Republican Gov. Mike DeWine.

How did a Republican governor end up on the hit list? Tyranny. Tyranny in the form of trying to make reasoned decisions about how to best address the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. With cases in Ohio at their highest level in the entire pandemic, DeWine hasn’t instituted a statewide lockdown, but has been warning those in the hardest hit areas to restrict their movements voluntarily. But DeWine’s refusal to remove all restrictions, and his support for wearing masks, is more than some in the state can bear. Ohio state house members from DeWine’s own party have launched an impeachment movement against the governor for the “madness” of instituting a statewide mask mandate. That effort has fueled another—one that means to arrest DeWine and then “permanently exile or execute” him.

As the Ohio Capital Journal reports, DeWine was at a conference to discuss allocation of funds from the CARES Act when he was told of the plot to conduct a citizen's arrest by Ohioans who were just done with having a government that tried to save their lives. 

State police were tipped off to the scheme when someone who had signed a petition calling for DeWine’s arrest got a phone call from someone who was ready to do more than just scribble his name on paper. The caller made it clear that there would be an attempt to arrest DeWine at his home over the weekend—on a charge of tyranny, of course. The caller reportedly asked if they wanted to take part in an attempt to arrest the governor at his home later that weekend and try him for allegations of tyranny. 

Even at that point, the person who eventually tipped off the police said he “absolutely” believed that DeWine needed to be arrested and said they were “excited” about the opportunity to take part. It was only when the caller made it clear they intended to follow the arrest with a kind of drumhead court martial followed by the immediate application of potential penalties, including death, that the tipster got nervous. The idea that the intention was to kill DeWine finally caused the tipster to contact the police. It doesn’t seem that anyone connected to the scheme has yet been arrested or charged, but state police are apparently investigating.

Ohio was also the origin site for the scheme to kidnap Whitmer. The same group of men who organized that scheme were also involved in the plan to target to target Northam. It’s not clear if there is also a connection with those plotting to execute DeWine for the tyranny of asking people to wear masks.

In the spring, protesters complaining about DeWine’s restrictions surrounded the state house while wearing Proud Boys T-shirts and carrying anti-Semitic signs. Those protest came the day after Donald Trump tweeted calls to “liberate” states that were then in the first weeks of restrictions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Hey! A second pic of these cool dudes from today. #makethemfamous pic.twitter.com/5y8UCJuvNQ

— Rep. Casey Weinstein (@RepWeinstein) April 19, 2020

All of this illustrates that while Trumpism may have taken root in the Republican Party, even Republicans aren’t immune to being found wanting of … purity.