Jim Renacci, a Republican former Ohio gubernatorial candidate who now chairs the pro-Trump American Greatness PAC, announced Friday he would host a series of forums across the Buckeye State this fall to foster conservative unity on political strategy.
The first of these events will occur on September 15 at the Thirsty Cowboy in Medina. Subsequent forums will be announced at a later time. The events will also feature vendor tables for aligned political organizations.
“The militant, liberal left are united,” Renacci said. “Conservatives, while being united on message, are not unified on approach or method. That is what we aim to change. Conservatives and Republicans want to win. But we are not committed to do what it takes to win. If we want to bring back MAGA [Make America Great Again] and return to winning, then we have to unite.”
The September 15 panel will include state Representatives Scott Wiggam (R-Wooster) and Jennifer Gross (R-West Chester) as well as Bob Frantz of WHK Radio in Cleveland, Republican State Central Committeeman Shannon Burns, Jack Windsor of the Ohio Press Network, former U.S. Senate candidate Mike Gibbons, Ohio Gun Owners Executive Director Chris Dorr, Buckeye Institute Research Fellow Greg Lawson, Jon Morrow of the Committee for a Better Ohio, Protect Ohio Children Program Director Diane Stover and Pastor J.C. Church of the Ohio Christian Alliance.
Burns, who won reelection to his Cleveland-area state-committee seat earlier this month, told The Ohio Star this forum series marks a time of hope for right-leaning Ohioans. For several years, many conservative activists have raised concerns about the governance of the Ohio Republican Party (ORP) by its current Chair Bob Paduchik and Treasurer Dave Johnson. In particular, conservatives have objected to irregularities pertaining to ORP financial records and to party leaders’ tendency to back moderates in races for public office.
Just days before the panel, on September 9, the ORP will convene for a reorganizational meeting wherein members will elect state-party officers for the next term. Burns said he is confident that conservatives, who won most of the ORP seats in the August 2 special primary, will elect leaders that represent their values. He also said J.D. Vance’s recent nomination as the GOP Senate nominee and conservative congressional primary victories signal that the party’s right wing is positioned to stand at its helm soon.
“Trump conservatives are the ones leading the way in Ohio right now,” Burns said. “Many stepped up and ran for office and are now poised to take control of party.”
The committeeman said he expects the Medina forum to be an exciting time for active right-leaning Ohioans to engage in dialogue about ideas for party strategy going forward.
Frantz echoed Burns’s optimism for the movement, noting the electorate’s dissatisfaction with President Joe Biden and voters’ likely willingness to seek more conservative governance at the ballot box in November. He said the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s surprise search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home on Monday has only reinforced most Americans’ view of President Joe Biden as radical and heavy-handed. Frantz said it now behooves conservatives to thoughtfully organize for maximal success.
“We are united and we are advancing as well,” he said. “What we are doing is trying to strategize…. As ohio conservatives, we want to be ready to do what is necessary to advance the America First agenda.”
Tickets for attending the September 15 event are $20 each. They can be purchased by going to https://checkout.square.site/buy/BHPOID3ZG3FIJIZZLLZDWFO5
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