Senior Consultant to Gibbons’ Ohio Senate Campaign Mike Biondo: ‘We’re in a Very Good Position in This Race’

 

Columbus, Ohio-In an exclusive interview, the general consultant for Mike Gibbons’ campaign for the Ohio Republican Senate nomination explained to The Ohio Star the investment banker’s path to victory.

“If you take a look at any of the polls that have been released by any of the candidates, the one constant is Mike Gibbons has consistently been moving up,” said Michael G. Biondo, a partner in Ascent Strategic, who has held senior positions in national political campaigns, including serving as national senior advisor to Donald J. Trump’s 2016 campaign.

“He’s been on there with his now sixth ad, and he has traveled through a good portion of the 88 counties at this point and is working consistently hard,” he said.

He said Gibbons is the outsider in the race the voters are looking for in 2022. “That message is now translating into a real set of momentum behind him, and we feel like we’re in a very good position in this race.”

Biondo said he worked with Gibbons on his 2018 Senate run, and after that race, the two men kept in touch and worked together on other projects.

“Mike ran an incredibly strong grassroots campaign in 2018,” the New Hampshire native said.

“He went everywhere. He was not afraid to crisscross the state, spend multiple hours in the car every single day. He was a hard worker,” he said. “We’re taking that work ethic from 2018 and bringing it to this race. In addition, circumstances were much different in 2018 than they are now.”

In 2018, Gibbons ran against State Treasurer Joshua A. Mandel for the Republican nod and the chance to take on Democratic Sen. Sherrod C. Brown, he said.

“Mike was running against really just Josh Mandel, and then Josh Mandel dropped out of the race, and even though Mike had been a big supporter of President Trump, President Trump did end up getting involved with Jim Renacci, who ended up getting into the race after Josh came out.”

In the general election, Brown beat Rep. James B. Renacci with 53 percent of the vote to the congressman’s 47 percent.

Biondo said that Gibbons put up his own money to support the 2018 campaign.

“Mike has actually made a much bigger financial commitment to the race this time–he’s already reserved $10 million of TV,” he said.

“I think our total budget last time, and I’m not 100 percent sure on the exact number, somewhere around $3.5 million during the last campaign, and we’ve already spent more than that on TV,” he said. “We’re laying the groundwork both on the ground and in the air—and we’re going to consistently keep that up throughout the whole campaign instead of starting and stopping.”

The Gibbons TV commercials are introducing the investment banker to the voters, but some of the ads are directed at the other investment banker in the race, J.D. Vance.

“We just went up on the air against J.D., I think, just a few days ago,” the Gibbons campaign consultant said.

Biondo added Vance is his own worst enemy.

“I think J.D. Vance’s weaknesses are in his own words,” he said. “He was a very vocal detractor of President Trump. He even said he was going to vote for Hillary Clinton, and I think he was talking about voting for Evan McMullin on the third party as well.”

Ohio Republicans want to line up with Trump, so Vance’s disparaging comments about Trump must be part of the campaign, he said.

“I think his problem is he’s now running for the United States Senate and his tune is a lot different than it was back when he wasn’t running—so, not a consistent supporter, somebody who’s said one thing at one point and is now out there running for U.S. Senate saying something completely different.”

Biondo said he does not put much faith in polls showing former chairwomen of the Ohio Republican Party Jane E. Timken as moving up in the polls because the Timken campaign conducted those polls.

“They only release what they want to release, he said. “I can’t tell you what the methodology is, but we have not been back in the field over the last two weeks, so I’m not exactly sure where it stands, but for her to claim that she’s moved as much as she has with the campaign that she’s been running–just doesn’t seem to jive with any sort of reality of political logic.”

Biondo said Gibbons’s advantage over Mandel this time is that the voters are looking for an outsider, and Mandel is not an outsider.

“I think what the voters are looking for, and you saw it with President Trump, is an outsider,” he said.

“Mike Gibbons is a very astute businessman who comes from humble beginnings who really started with nothing more than a desk and his phone and has built a very successful business,” he said

“Mike believes, and I think he’s right, that we need more people with that type of experience, more outsiders that are not just consistently jumping from office to office to run and get involved in public service.”

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Neil W. McCabe is the national political editor for The Star News Network. Send him news tips: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @neilwmccabe2.
Photo “Mike Gibbons” by Mike Gibbons. Background Photo “U.S. Senate” by U.S. Senate.

 

 

 

 

 

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