DeWine announced today in an email to members of the central committee, the party’s governing body, that he will not seek re-election in an effort to stop the internecine warfare that has torn apart the party. He said he hoped the move would end the bitter dispute over the party’s leadership before the Nov. 6 general election.
“Over the past year, our state central committee has become the center of a highly charged contest for the future of the Ohio Republican Party,” DeWine wrote. “Too many members, through no fault of their own, have lost sleep, lost friends, and lost hope during this process. I believe that in order to ensure victory for 2012 this family fight must end now. To accomplish that goal, I intend to lead by example.”
DeWine continued: “Those who want to see new leadership in this party will have their chance, as I will not run for another term as your chairman in January of 2013.”
Preisse said Kasich has support from enough committee members to force DeWine out at the April 13 meeting. But DeWine, who was reached last night and declined to comment, indicated in his email to the central committee that he had enough support to remain chairman until his term ends. DeWine emphasized in that letter that he hoped his decision would allow the party to come together and thwart President Barack Obama’s effort to carry Ohio, a must-win swing state.
“I hope you will see this decision as an attempt to do exactly what I promised to do when I became your chairman — to put party before power and service before self,” DeWine wrote to the committee. “Following this month’s primary election, I’m confident that a strong majority of members support my continued leadership of our party. But continuing to put this party through such a process would strain the bonds among us that will be critically important as we prepare for what will be the most significant election of our lifetimes.”
Third Base Politics blog has more speculation on what would happen in terms of spending by the ORP if DeWine doesn't step down now.