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Anti Trumper JD Vance to Run for US Senate?


Politico and others have reported this week that JD Vance is being courted by Senator Mitch McConnell and others to run for the U.S. Senate.  Vance, who is managed by former Kasich Lehman Brothers business partner turned political operative Jai Chabria, has been rumored to be looking for a political career for awhile now. 


This rumor seems to have legs as the staunchly anti-Trump Vance received some critical support this week by way of Ohio GOP Chairwoman Jane Timken.  Our source tells us Timken made an appeal directly to President Trump to support a Vance candidacy.  Apparently, Trump didn't take the bait but a Vance run would appear to be a good fit with the current leadership in the US Senate and is not out of the question.


Delaware County Ground Zero for The Fall of the Republican Empire 


In the insanity that is GOP politics 2018, the Delaware County GOP is seeking the central committee endorsement for a candidate that voted in her first Republican primary in 2016 at the age of 47 over conservative Republican stalwart Senator Kris Jordan (R-Ostrander).  


3rd Rail previously reported on the extreme conflict of interest surrounding Representative Ryan Smith's candidate for the Ohio House, Denise Martin.  Martin is the county Administrator for the Domestic Court.  Martin has not stepped down from her taxpayer funded position to run for office, and appears to be using her access to sealed and unsealed divorce documents and forcing expensive delays in the Jordan's divorce proceedings to benefit her campaign. The County GOP screening committee cited a 7 years old 911 call as the reason for their support of Martin. However, the party supported Jordan four years ago in his candidacy for the Senate.  The 911 call resulted in no arrests or convictions of Jordan and according to Lt. Chris Burden who responded to the call, "No signs of a crime were found to have occurred and it was reported this was only a dispute about "house chores" not being completed.  

In a reprehensible display of abuse of power, Representative Smith, Denise Martin and County GOP leadership apparently will stop at nothing, including destroying the family of a Republican faithful to gain power. Shame on you!


More from Ground Zero - Delco GOP


Due to term limits, the hard working Representative Andrew Brenner (R- Powell) is running for the Ohio Senate.   Will the county party endorse Brenner?  He was endorsed by the screening committee but now party insider and nursing-home mogul Don Rankey pulled petitions to run against Brenner.  Rankey has run unsuccessfully for the Delaware City Council, State Representative, and Township Trustee in the past.  He has deep pockets and could self fund. Will the fourth time be a charm for Rankey?  The embattled Orange Township Fiscal Officer Joel Spitzer is also running against Brenner.   


Speakers Pike County Pork Project


Speaker Rosenberger and Representative Ryan Smith provided $1.6 million of taxpayer dollars to build a 150-bed lodge and conference center at Cave Lake.  According to the Gallipolis Daily Tribune, Cave Lake is set on 700 acres of the region's most scenic property,and includes an ecologically significant cave, a 42-acre lake and hundreds of species of birds, trees and shrubs.  So why is this considered a pork project? The facility is  owned by The Ohio-West Virginia Youth Leadership Association or YLA and is not a state park.  


Our share a tip source described the property as a non profit gated campground that pays no property tax. 


Early Endorsements Killing Off Party Influence?


The dynamics of the 2018 election cycle have grassroots Republicans upset at their own party structures for holding early primary endorsements that have provided more egg on the face of local political party organizations than a boost to the endorsed candidates.


Montgomery County Republicans's choice for Governor, Jon Husted is not running for Governor. Cuyahoga County Republicans supported U.S. Senate Candidate, State Treasurer Josh Mandel, who is also not running.  The phenomena of early endorsements before the filing deadline appears to be backfiring for party organizations who have jumped the gun and endorsed candidates before they even file to run for public office.


Look for local county political parties to pass rules preventing early endorsements in the future. Social media is full of talk of retribution to party leaders who tried to jump the gun, but got shot in the foot when their favored candidates did not even file to run for the offices that they were endorsed for. 



O'Neill's Lt. Governor Pick To Stay On Public Payroll While Campaigning Statewide 


Gubernatorial candidate and sitting Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill selected Chantelle Lewis, an elementary school principal from East Cleveland to be his running mate.  


Lewis is an employee of the Lorain Public Schools, and is planning to campaign for Lt. Governor while still attempting to perform her duties as an elementary school principal at Larkmoor Elementary School. Given that school principals are expected to be in school around 7:00 a.m. and stay through the last bell at 3:00 p.m., we wonder what type of arrangement Lewis is making to keep her public job? In 2015, she made $98,769 as the school's principal.


Lewis was also a City Council Member in East Cleveland when the State of Ohio had the troubled North East Ohio community put on fiscal watch in 2011. The City cannot pay its obligations and has considered merging with Cleveland or attempting a managed bankruptcy, neither of which has transpired. Lewis is no longer an elected official in East Cleveland. 


Lewis did not even ask her boss, Lorain Schools CEO Dave Hardy, before running for office on the public dime.  Hardy read about it in the paper. Time will tell what the taxpayers in Lorain who are supporting Lewis' nearly $100,000 salary in the troubled school district, will say about this arrangement.


Kucinich to Pick Samples as his Lt. Governor


3rd Rail has learned that gubernatorial candidate Dennis Kucinich will tap Tara Mosley Samples for his Lt. Governor. 


Samples, has served on the Akron City Council since 2013, and is a strong supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders.