Why the county political parties in Ohio are failing (as is the state party)

The potential new party chair of the Greene County Republican Party sent out an email according to the Greene County Sentinel (a facebook based news type blog run by John Stafford) that asks about if the party should endorse in primaries. He doesn’t even know.

The role of the local party in Ohio is a mystery to most voters, as is the entire way we choose candidates for office. After his email- I’ll share what you need to know, both as a voter and as a candidate.

Attention:Greene County Republicans; To endorse local candidates or not to endorse?

From: Kraig Hagler <[email protected]>

Date: Feb 18, 2024 at 2:46 PM


What’s the point? I think this is my main take away from Thursday’s meeting.

Sheriff Anger made the comment. “If we’re not here to support who we feel is the best candidate in local races, then what’s the point of the central committee?

Are we giving every candidate a participation trophy?

He is correct that many of our surrounding counties take advantage in endorsing who they feel are the best candidates.

I spoke with what I would consider a front runner in the House race at the end of the meeting.

His comment.

“What’s the point in getting an endorsement without money or influence?”

The backing of the current Greene County Republican Party means nothing to him.

It comes with NO clout, NO money and gives him NO advantage in his race.

In today’s world of politics our party has become irrelevant, stale, and stagnate.

We will be proud to sell you a Trump shirt or hat at our Headquarters, but don’t ask us about local politics because that’s not what we’re here to do.

In reality, influencing local policy and supporting the right local candidates is our sole purpose, or at the very least, our first priority.

However, we have become an Evening Social Club, too engulfed in the National Political Scene to appreciate what is going on in our own Community.

Follow the money.

I challenge each of you to pull the finance reports of all Greene County candidates after the election.

What’s the point?

They don’t need us.

Many are getting their money from way outside the county. Look at their endorsements.

Some have endorsements from people not only outside of the county, but outside of the state.

What’s the point?

We as Central Committee Members are allowing our elections to be bought.

I’m my opinion, we are losing our way and focus concerning our influence.

When local candidates, and it’s the majority of them, openly state that the party means nothing to their campaign, that should come as frightening news to each and every member of CC.

There are four races that GCRP can and should always have an endorsed a candidate from Greene County.

Senate District 10, House District 71, and both State Central Committee races.

Greene County holds almost 40% of the vote in those races. We should always carry these offices.

If you feel that our candidate isn’t the best in that race, then that falls on leadership and us as members for not recruiting the best candidate.

No member should have come to that meeting unprepared to support a candidate.

Anita and Carolyn put on great potluck events where each candidate got 20 minutes to tell you about themselves, and what they bring to the office.

Additionally, multiple candidates have held events with open invitations to attend and hear their platforms.

If you are a precinct captain and you came to that meeting as an uninformed voter, then you didn’t put forth any effort to know your candidates.

What’s my point?

As many of you know I am seeking the position of Executive Chair in April with Carolyn stepping down. My focus will be gaining participation and growing CC.

I will strive to:

Focus on local races.

Get back to our basics.

Recruit and support Republican candidates.

Bring independents over to our club.

If we continue down the path of allowing one or two people in “leadership” to dictate what we do, then we will find that our club will only continue to lose its influence and become even more irrelevant.

In closing, I would like to hear from you as a Precinct Captain:

In your opinion, what is the purpose of the Central Committee; Or basically what’s the point?

Together we will move forward. If you blindly follow the path we are on, together we will fail.


Kraig A. Hagler



To answer the question should parties endorse in primaries? The answer is NO. Their job should be to inform voters of the choices they have, and make it easy to research their choices. Otherwise, why have a primary at all? The real question is should someone vet all candidates- to stop the insanity of a George Santos not only getting on the ballot- but winning? Yes. If I have to get a background check to become a guardian- shouldn’t I have to pass one to run for public office?

Do you really want your representative, be it to school board or President, to be decided by people you didn’t elect, or who don’t live in your district? Isn’t the point of a democracy is that voters choose who leads them? Well informed voters hopefully.

Now, what’s the real role of an effective party- and why these local folks fail so badly. The only exception I’ve encountered has been the South Dayton Democratic Club run by Alison and Tim Benford, a pair of British immigrants, who came to Dayton because of the base, and stayed. They get it right.

A political party is supposed to be an organization to support and serve as a ground team for candidates, who’ve been selected in the primary, to win. This isn’t what happens. For President Obama to win his historic victory, he built an entire organization from the ground up, hiring staff and assembling a digital infrastructure that’s been almost unmatched. None of this would be necessary if the political parties were run by adults. This isn’t a private club, nor is it a place for backroom deals, it’s supposed to be the power of the people, coordinated effectively to win elections.

Part of the reason we waste $15B plus every election cycle is because the parties force candidates to reinvent the wheel every cycle. They control the email addresses, the donor lists, the canvassing tools, the discounted mailing permits, and still can’t provide the critical part- actual boots on the ground to mobilize and motivate. They fail to codify a message, and even once we elect folks, they can’t manage to work together to move us forward. It’s all broken.

One of the things the Benfords did, was give me a copy of a book to read, and asked me to sign an oath. It was exactly the kind of message and method the parties should be doing. Read the oath and find out about the book here.

If you go to one of their meetings, you will hear an interesting speaker, learn about candidates or policies, be asked to sign petitions and distribute literature and signs and help get people elected. It’s participatory, it’s educational, and it’s a chance to build connections with like minded people. It’s satisfying and gratifying.

That’s the complete opposite of what the local county “official” parties do. But, what makes them so important? And how does it work? Most folks have no clue that these people control our local boards of elections who act as a firewall against independent and non-favored candidates getting on the ballot. They also get to pick people to replace County officials who step down during their term. Remember Russ Joseph, the Montgomery County Dem Parties favorite son? He was made Clerk of Courts, only to lose to Mike Foley in his first election bid, and then he was made county treasurer, and lost to former Dem, John McManus. Then, the party got him a job in the Federal courts, but he didn’t like it, so they made him the top dem in the Board of Elections where he once again sucks off the teat of the tax payer. This is how the “Friends and Family” program works.

But who are the friends and who are the family? In Montgomery County, the party allows elected officials to be precinct captains, or makes them honorary members of the executive committee that selects and anoints these folks to office. But, what’s even more insidious, is that they allow people in “Patronage jobs”- jobs controlled by these elected leaders, to be precinct captains so they can vote the way their bosses tell them. I’ve argued for decades that this amounts to a violation of the “Hatch Act“- where government employees aren’t allowed to take part in partisan politics, but they claim it only applies to Federal Employees. We also get the wives and husbands of elected officials and sometimes their kids. There’s a reason why Judge Dan Gehres and his two sons (Marty and Franklin) are all party people (and trust me, I could list a whole bunch of others).

The precinct captains are elected by getting on the ballot with a mere 5 signatures. They usually run unopposed (unless they are me) and if you keep winning, the party will move your precinct lines to jam you up. There are no requirements for attendance or for reporting to your precinct. There are no requirements to distribute info, to canvas, to collect signatures- all they want you to do is show up to vote the party line when called. The reality is, now that the practice of placing people as captains in precincts that they don’t live in (which was the norm) they are barely able to fill a few more than half the seats- and people who do win, come to the meetings and wonder why? They aren’t welcomed, or recognized. They aren’t actually asked to participate.

What a well run party should be able to do, is help identify and train prospective candidates. Help them run their campaigns with a coordinated effort. Have methods to reach likely voters at low cost, and help them with access to voters and donors. But, that only happens if they “like you.” They should also know where to place signs on main roads, provide folks to stand outside voting places on election day for last minute persuasion, and have people and technology in place to Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts. Then, the national candidates, the statewide candidates, the congressional candidates the County Candidates and even the local candidates wouldn’t be reinventing the wheel – with every campaign.

You wouldn’t believe how many calls, emails, mailers a candidate gets- all promising the keys to winning, from websites to robocalls to signs and email lists. The reality should be- all politics should be local, and your precinct captain should lead the charge at connecting voters with candidates.

Mr Hagler is right- the system is broken. It’s why we have folks cross over in Montgomery County from Dem to Republican- because the Monarchy didn’t really support their campaigns or actively worked against them.

The most stunning response to this endorsement nonsense came last week, when Joe Wessels, who chose to run in the heavily Republican gerrymandered OH-2 race for Congress, decided to drop out instead of fighting the State parties endorsement of his primary opponent, and he endorsed the only non-maga Republican, Phil Heimlich, in the race. Watch his video:

The reality is, neither he, nor their “endorsed” candidate Samantha Meadows, had much of a chance. The reality is the 11 R’s running include the carpetbagger, Niraj Antani from Montgomery County. Some would say that Joe’s endorsement hurts Phil Heimlich, other dems may think that by voting R in the primary they can vote for Niki Haley and Phil and help keep Maga out. Either way, when your district is 15 of the poorest counties in the State spanning a vast section, the cost and energy required to spread the message is almost impossible without help and coordination with the party- and Sherrod Brown and the Supreme Court Justices that are the only other state wide Democratic races.

If you want to see how I worked with other candidates in my district in 2022, go visit electionsnotauctions.com and see what could happen if candidates had a guiding hand from adult leadership.

Here’s the video I put together:

And yes, that’s Amy Cox who doesn’t live in OH-10 who is now running against me in the Dem Primary on Mar 19, 2024

The reality is, the parties are failing to educate, include and support the system. And, just to show how I’m a bit different than most candidates, here’s where former Montgomery County Tea Party founder/Republican Party Chair/Trump campaign manager/Kettering Clerk of Courts Rob Scott and I sat down to give a primer on the precinct captain positions. Yes, being able to work with people who are theoretically completely the opposite of you- is a mark of statesmanship winning over partisanship. It’s how you actually get things done.

If you want to learn more about my candidacy for Congress in Ohio 10, visit my site www.electesrati.com or attend the forum this Wednesday run by the Benfords (see this post) and if you really like what you’ve read, and believe it’s time to put country first and politics second, consider donating– as much or as little as you can to help me go on to replace Mike Turner with a congressman that will actually meet with his constituents. Sadly, Mike, when not leaking classified intelligence about Russian Satellites, is busy raising money from at least 27 of his billionaire friends from out of state. Unbelievably, I don’t even know a billionaire.

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