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Just weeks after big statewide win, race to replace Ohio Republican Party leader is on

Alex Triantafilou
Howard Wilkinson
Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman Alex Triantafilou with sales tax repeal petitions in 2018. Behind him are GOP volunteers urging people to vote down the "Aftax," a reference to Democratic Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval. Pureval was elected mayor of Cincinnati in 2021.

The Ohio Republican Party scored big wins this fall, but the party will be without a chair soon. And the race to become the next leader of the Ohio GOP is on, with one candidate declared and one former candidate who tried to oust the current chair this summer bowing out.

Hamilton County GOP chair Alex Triantafilou said Monday he’ll seek the state party chairmanship, with current chair Bob Paduchik announcing the day after the November vote that he would not seek re-election.

Republicans swept the statewide offices in November 2022, but did lose in two toss-up congressional districts, including the 1st District in Triantafilou’s Hamilton County, where incumbent Republican Steve Chabot lost to Democratic Cincinnati City Councilman Greg Landsman.

Triantafilou said in a statement: "We have been successful in Ohio since 2012, but our future nominees will require a strong and effective Ohio Republican Party that can meet the moment and do what has not been done in more than a decade: defeat Sherrod Brown and remove a dangerous, incompetent liberal President from the White House."

Brown won his re-election to the US Senate by more than 6 points in 2018 over Republican Jim Renacci, who unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Mike DeWine in the May 2022 primary for governor.

Summit County GOP Chair and statewide party Vice chair Bryan Williams, who had tried to challenge Paduchik after the August primary for state lawmakers, confirmed to the Statehouse News Bureau he won’t run for chair, but said he is working with a coalition "to support the best candidate".

Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.