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Published: Wednesday, 5/5/2010

Tea Party insurgents fall in 2 contests

BY JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU CHIEF

COLUMBUS - Ohio Republican Party: 2. Tea Party: 0.

The cash, clout, and get-out-the-vote effort of the state GOP machine appeared to help its endorsed candidates for secretary of state and auditor yesterday to repel insurgencies from its conservative Tea Party faction.

Jon Husted, a Dayton-area state senator and former speaker of the Ohio House, easily defeated party rebel Sandy O'Brien, a former Ashtabula County auditor, for the party's nomination for secretary of state.

"Frankly, Tea Party Republicans and non-Tea Party Republicans are all winners tonight," Mr. Husted said.

"I don't really characterize those categories, but if you want to, this was not about whether the candidates share their values. They do. It was about who was best qualified to represent them and carry that message forward in November."

Mr. Husted now has the Republican nod to do battle on Nov. 2 with Democrat Maryellen O'Shaughnessy and Libertarian Charles Earl.

"The results were not as good as we hoped for," Ms. O'Brien said last night, declining to comment further.

In the race for auditor, Delaware County Prosecutor Dave Yost defeated suburban Dayton state Rep. Seth Morgan.

Mr. Yost, previously a favorite of the Tea Party, drew anger when Republican Party leaders successfully urged him to drop his bid for attorney general and instead run for auditor against Mr. Morgan, the Tea Party's endorsed candidate.

Mr. Yost will square off against Democrat David Pepper and Libertarian L. Michael Howard this fall.

Contact Jim Provance at:

jprovance@theblade.com,

or 614-221-0496.



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