As New Poll Shows Him Leading Pack, Ohio Senate Hopeful Mike Gibbons Tells The Ohio Star: ‘I Am Tea Party at My Roots’

Ohio Rep. Mike Gibbons

Cleveland investment banker Mike Gibbons, who shot from virtual unknown to frontrunner when The Hill-Emerson College poll of 410 Republican voters, conducted February 25 and February 26, put the banker in the lead, told The Ohio Star his political program is more Tea Party than Republican Party.

“I’ve got Tea Party at my roots, in my core,” said Gibbons, the Ohio finance chairman for Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. “I believe we need to take this country back to the American values that made it great. We have a Left that wants to destroy it.”

Gibbons said the Ohio Republican Party’s establishment was not ready to hear that from him.

“When I first went to the first central committee meeting I ever went to, I had a screening committee,” he said.

“I walked in, and they said: ‘Mike, we’ve seen you giving a lot of money to Republican candidates over the years.’ I said: ‘I said, “Yeah, they closely reflected my ideology, and I look for people that believe what I believe.”’”

Gibbons said there was an uneasiness already present in the room.

“They said: ‘Well,’ and I said: ‘But if I have to tell you the truth, I’m probably a better Tea Party guy than I am a Republican,’” the banker said. “There was a groan that went up in the room. This was in a screening session, and all I did was say ‘what principle of the Tea Party don’t you believe in?’”

The Hill-Emerson College poll put Gibbons at 22 percent, followed by Marine combat veteran and former state Treasurer Joshua A. Mandel with 15 percent.

Behind Gibbons and Mandel were Marine combat veteran and author James D. “JD” Vance with 8 percent, and former Ohio GOP Chairwoman Jane E. Timken and State Senator Matthew J. Dolan (R-Oakwood), both at 6 percent.

Gibbons, who ran for Senate in 2018 unsuccessfully, said he decided to run for Senate a second time watching the news.

“I was with my wife, and we were watching Fox News, and I was trying to decide whether I was going to do it,” he said.

“I’ve been throwing things at Fox News occasionally whenever I hear – or more like MSNBC – and actually, it just gets me all worked up, and I’m not sleepy anymore. I can go work more, but I think I’m just tired of throwing stuff at my TV,” he said.

“I saw who had entered the race, and I didn’t think they were what we needed. I said, ‘Diane, what do you think?’ She said, ‘I think you ought to go for it,’ and I did.”

Gibbons said now that his name recognition is up, more people are coming up to him to give him words of encouragement. “‘I’m voting for you,’ which is very delightful to hear because we have spent a lot of money, and I had to catch up with somebody that had 90 percent name recognition. I think we’ve done it.”

When the voters tell him their concerns, he said that right at the top of the list is their anger at President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his policies.

“Pretty much President Biden, almost everything he’s done,” Gibbons said. “I think they’re upset, and they recognize the difference in the country since President Biden’s taken over, and I think they want to change it back.”

He said that Ohio voters are not happy about how President Donald J. Trump was disrespected and how the 2020 election was handled.

“President Trump was treated unfairly from the day he entered office,” he said. “The fact [is] that he may be the greatest president in the history of our country, certainly in my lifetime, not by how he acted or what he said, but what he did. People all know that.”

Gibbons said he feels confident going into the May 3 primary, despite commercials questioning his conservative credentials, especially with the support of the most popular politician in the state, Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).

“I can tell you there’s been numerous occasions where people have asked about my conservatism,” he said.

“I’m being endorsed by Rand Paul, so if there’s any doubt about my conservatism, that should allay your fears,” he said.

“I know him well enough that he knows my opinions well enough. We don’t differ on much.”

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Neil W. McCabe is the national political editor of The Star News Network based in Washington. He is an Army Reserve public affairs NCO and an Iraq War veteran. Send him news tips: [email protected] Follow him on TruthSocial & GETTR: @ReporterMcCabe.
Photo “Mike Gibbons” by Mike Gibbons.




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