Stevenot to Challenge Kasich in Ohio GOP Primary


Columbus, Ohio (Attribution: trdesignr, [CC BY-SA 2.0] via flickr)


Ted Stevenot has reconsidered his candidacy. Story updated here.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is the latest Republican incumbent to draw a primary challenge from the Right.

Tea Party leader and political novice Ted Stevenot has scheduled a press conference for next week, when he’s expected to formally announce his candidacy and that of his soon-to-be running mate: lieutenant governor-hopeful Brenda Mack.

The intra-party power-struggle is reportedly a result of Gov. Kasich’s support for Medicaid expansion under Obamacare — which, of course, is a hot-button issue for the Tea Party.  In October, the Ohio State Director of Americans for Prosperity (a Koch brothers-backed Tea Party advocacy group) said, “We urge the legislature and the Governor to resist the lure of short-term federal funds and say no to expanding Medicaid in Ohio.”

The right-wing duo’s chances are slim to none.  Gov. Kasich — who’s plenty conservative, himself — has upwards of $4.4 million cash on hand, according to ABC News – an amount that would be difficult (or impossible) for Stevenot to match. 

Despite the Tea Party’s general affinity for social media, Stevenot seems largely “off the grid.”  His 3 Twitter accounts have a combined 126 followers, and his Facebook page has only 372 “Likes” — a pretty dismal start, considering that the primary is only four months away.

And then there’s Brenda Mack.  A former president of the Ohio Black Republicans Association, Mack appears to have some serious financial troubles.  According to The Columbus Dispatch, she filed for bankruptcy in 2008, owes the tax-man $60,000, and even owes former employees of her now-defunct business $5,975 in unpaid wages.