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Ohio Primary: Blystone vs DeWine, Renacci Returns, Madison Gesiotto Gilbert

In part one, we observed the Senate Primary that is ongoing in Ohio for its open senate seat. Now, it is time to detail the other pertinent races going on in Ohio. It cannot be understated that name recognition and effort—that is beyond money, are the keys to winning primary elections. Ohio is a political machine, but the dissatisfied voters need to rise up in May if they are to challenge the establishment. Unfortunately, aside from the governor’s race, there is no interest in challenging RINO, career politicians like there was in Texas.

Governor’s Race

There was no republican governor rated worse than Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. While as insufferable as a Larry Hogan, Mike DeWine governs the increasingly red Ohio in a manner that is effeminate and tone-deaf towards the demands of the base. DeWine issued mask mandates, lockdowns, and vaccine lotteries. In response, the Ohio legislature passed SB22, curbing emergency powers. On other issues, DeWine has supported Red Flag laws for gun owners, is pro transgenderism (even in women’s sports), and appointed Solicitor General Ben Flowers, who argued that argued before SCOTUS that the state has unlimited power to forcibly vaccinate individuals. The nurses thank Flowers for his representation—not. Needless to say, and there is more that could be said, DeWine needs to go, yet currently Real Clear Politics has him leading by double digits.

Leading the challenge is the agrarian Joe Blystone, a constitutional conservative. Although Blystone lacks the major endorsements and political experience, he does seem to have a grassroots presence which is both authentic and thriving. Online, he is not afraid to call out the covid narratives for what they are, and he has a Gab account. Inexperience is his biggest detriment, as he has one tenth the funding of DeWine, lacks party backing, and must build his own campaign infrastructure. But if anyone can do it from scratch, it is Joe Blystone.

Returning to the ballot is Jim Renacci, former congressman and failed senate candidate from 2018. Like his challenger counterpart, Renacci has been highly critical of DeWine for his aforementioned RINO governing style. His platform is similar, but more detailed than Blystone’s. Being a career politician, Renacci has a record. To his credit, he was a critic of lockdowns going back to April of 2020 so he is not pandering in that regard, except for his praise of warp speed. He was one of 43 republicans to vote for the Maloney Amendment, which mandates “anti-discrimination” protections for homosexuals from federal contractors. From a campaign standpoint, Renacci ran an ineffective campaign in 2018, underperforming DeWine who won atop the ballot. He relied heavily on the endorsement of Donald Trump and an alleged domestic abuse by Sherrod Brown from 1986. Essentially, he tried to Me-Too his way into office in 2018 while underspending on his campaign advertisements. Even now, Renacci has attempted to ride Donald Trump’s previous endorsement and  falsified an endorsement from Mike Lindell. Nevertheless, select Harris Polling has Renacci as the most electable, defeating likely Democrat nominee John Cranley by the largest margins over his primary peers.

If voters are looking for authenticity, then look no further than Blystone, but Renacci is certainly better than DeWine. What might end up happening is a scenario where a Trump endorsement swings the race or both competitors cannibalize each other, allowing DeWine to survive.

Ohio 13th District: Open Seat, One Candidate

For once, an open congressional seat in a district which will be +4.3% Democrat represents a winnable opportunity for Republicans to flip going into the midterms. Outgoing Rep Tim Ryan is seeking a senate run, thereby forfeiting this seat.

Only Max Miller, a former Trump aide is currently running, boasting a million dollars in his war chest and the endorsement of Donald Trump. With RINO Anthony Gonzalez not seeking reelection in what would be this district, Miller should waltz into victory, but he must put in the work to win this seat. Miller was subpoenaed by the January 6 Committee. On Twitter, Miller has a tendency to retweet Elise Stefanik and tout the prevailing narrative on the right. Overall, he probably will be very establishment while riding Trump’s endorsement. He is no Chip Roy or MTG or Massie, but Max Miller will function as like a typical Republican Congressman.

Ohio 9th District

Redistricting has made the 9th district a winnable seat, with the Democrats possessing a 0.5% advantage. Going into a “red wave,” this is a race that requires attention on the ground level to capture Kaptur’s seat.

With the largest war chest, and certainly the prettiest candidate in the field, Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, a political commentator, lawyer, and Miss USA contestant is the star in this primary. Obviously, should she win, Jesse Kelly would rate her number one on his list, but whether she is all style over substance remains to be seen. Her website lacks a platform, but she does mention her work on Trump’s campaign. She has a record of being anti-abortion, citing it as the number one killer of black people, a talking point she has articulated for years. Perhaps she was a little reactionary to George Floyd, as she condemned it for being a racist act, but that hardly is a crime she is alone during May of 2020. Though she has written against Mitch McConnell in the Washington Times, I think she plays a cautious media presence and her articles at The Hill are nothing to simp over. Overall, while she might appear solid, poisonous plants are often appealing.

Second in funding is J.R. Majewski, a veteran who previously worked at a nuclear facility. Unlike his chief competitor, Majewski boasts a detailed platform consisting of pro-energy, pro law enforcement, and Christianity with an emphasis on the local issues effecting his district. He appears to be an authentic grassroot, extremely Pro-MAGA candidate. While Madison might have the best name recognition, Majewski probably has the better ground game.

The last candidate of interest is State Senator Theresa Gavarone, a seemingly solid local politician vying for the seat. From a legislative standpoint, she is probably average, as she sponsored SB22 (mentioned above) and various anti-abortion legislation in the past. However, she is way too cozy with Mike DeWine, praising him for his Covid response along with having dinners with him in the past. On Covid, she went along with the narrative, bragging about how she kept swimming lessons available during lockdowns when public pools never should have been closed in the first place. She appears to be someone that will play ball with the establishment and is very reticent to critique it. I imagine in Congress she will very much be in league with McCarthy.

Overall, Majewski is the most solid conservative in this race, but the only one who is problematic is Gavarone.

Lessons from Texas

As much as the right laments the stolen election, especially as suspicious activities become more apparent, the Texas primary election proves that showing up is half the battle. Complain all you want about voter fraud and politicians ignoring their people. This primary was not rigged. 

Chip Roy, who I hope becomes Speaker, won more votes than any other congressional candidate in Texas. His people showed up for him. Sadly, he had more votes than total voters that showed up in many of the other districts. Theoretically, these districts are equal in population and majority republican. Shame on these voters who stayed home, whether distracted by Ukraine or the SOTU or saw the shinny object of Greg Abbott’s posturing. Shame on the conservative media located in Texas who could not be bothered to discuss these primaries (Crowder!) or ran a lackluster celebrity campaign (Prather!).

Being a RINO haven, Ohio does not have the resources that Texas has. Winning primaries requires putting in the effort, getting to know the voters, attending meetings at the local clubs (where the financiers are), and getting in front of as many people as possible—whether on the roadside or in person.

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