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Statehouse News Stories

GOP State Dinner Brings Out Candidates - But Only Veiled Talk Of Trump

More than 400 officeholders, activists and leaders with the Ohio Republican Party gathered for their annual statewide dinner this weekend. And their likely nominee wasn’t mentioned much, but certainly was on the minds of many.

Ohio Republican Party chair Matt Borges warmed up the crowd with a few jokes – starting with this one: “We ended up with a reality TV star as our nominee.”

But he didn’t spend any more time on Donald Trump. The only speaker to mention him by name was southeast Ohio Congressman Bill Johnson. "Look, I’m going to be voting for Donald Trump. He’s going to be our party’s nominee," Johnson said.  "But there are many things on which Donald Trump and I disagree.”

But the man who was the last one standing against Trump – Gov. John Kasich – said he’s not sure how the election will turn out.  "I’m not even sure what I’m going to be doing in this presidential election because I want to see unity. I want to see leadership. I want to see our leaders bring us together," Kasich said. "Remember, we’re Americans before we’re Republicans and Democrats, and we need a healing in this country. That is what we need in the United States of America.”

And US Sen. Rob Portman echoed other speakers in saying it’s important that Republicans make sure a Democrat doesn’t win the White House.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) speaks to the Ohio Republican Party state dinner.
Karen Kasler /
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U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) speaks to the Ohio Republican Party state dinner.