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Five Republicans Sue Ohio GOP Over Missing Money

 Bob Paduchik presides over the Ohio Electoral College on Dec. 14, 2020 in the Ohio Senate chambers.
Ohio Channel
Bob Paduchik presides over the Ohio Electoral College on Dec. 14, 2020 in the Ohio Senate chambers.

Five members of the Ohio Republican Party’s state central committee are suing the party, saying there are millions of dollars of missing money and that chairman Bob Paduchik won’t explain what happened to it.

The suit comes as the party considers whether it will eventually endorse candidates in May’s contested primary for governor and the crowded race to replace U.S. Senator Rob Portman.

Mark Bainbridge, one of the five suing the Ohio GOP, said his group has documented $3 million in unexplained missing funds going back to former chair Jane Timken, now a U.S. Senate candidate.

Bainbridge said the group wants an audit, for the party to stop contributing to the re-election campaigns of Gov. Mike DeWine and other candidates, and for Paduchik to resign.

“It has nothing to do with the politics in the Republican Party. We are just trying to bring accountability and integrity and good financial reporting and governance to the Ohio Republican Party,” he said.

Paduchik said Bainbridge is making “crazy accusations” and has slandered and threatened people, and that the five are working with a far-right dark-money group.

“Please recognize the lies and the motivations behind them,” Paduchik wrote in a letter about Bainbridge and the suit to party members on Tuesday.