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Politics

Ohio GOP Picks Trump-Backed Bob Paduchik As New Chair

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Huntington Center, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, in Toledo, Ohio.
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Huntington Center, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, in Toledo, Ohio.

The Ohio Republican Party has a new chairman, the well-known political operative Bob Paduchik.

Most recently, Paduchik ran former President Trump’s successful campaigns in Ohio, which Trump won both times by an 8-point margin. Trump himself endorsed Paduchik, calling him "outstanding in every way."

Paduchik also worked with other high-profile state candidates and served as co-chair of the Republican National Committee.

In a vote Friday, Paduchik beat out former state Rep. John Becker, an outspoken conservative who taken controversial stands on issues from abortion to the state's coronavirus shutdown. Becker told the group he was a "regular guy" who spoke for many Republicans frustrated by the status-quo.

When being nominated for the post, Becker was hailed as a person not afraid to speak his mind. Last year, he filed articles of impeachment against Gov. Mike DeWine for his public health orders that closed many of the state's businesses and delayed the March 2020 primary election.

Paduchik says his main goal as leader of the party will be to help elect Republican candidates in 2022, when the state's top executive offices and a U.S. Senate seat are on the ballot.

“We have to elect Republicans here in Ohio next year," Paduchik says. "That means we need a party that’s focused on building the financial resources that we need, building the organization we need."

Paduchik takes over from former Ohio GOP chair Jane Timken, another Trump-backed candidate who led the party from 2017 until her resignation earlier this month. Timken is one of two Republicans running for the Senate seat being vacated next year by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

Paduchik says he’ll also focus on trying to build Republican numbers in Democratic-heavy urban areas and adopting some of the professional standards that have been proven to be helpful by the party in other states and nationally.

Copyright 2021 WOSU 89.7 NPR News