Amid the TV commercials for presidential and congressional candidates, Toledo area viewers might have also noticed an ad for a candidate for a little-known seat — Ohio Republican state central committee.
The ad, which claims to be paid for by a Gahanna, Ohio, business, supports Jon Stainbrook, the chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party, in his campaign for the state central committee from the 11th Senate District.
Mr. Stainbrook said he did not authorize the TV commercial, nor does he know who is behind it, but he welcomes the help.
“I’m very happy that somebody is concerned that I’m the underdog in this race. The state party targeted my race and they’ve spent state party funds on 14 full-color postcards for my opponent, which are misleading and deceptive,” Mr. Stainbrook said.
The central committee, a body of 66 people statewide, is the governing body of the state Republican Party.
Mr. Stainbrook’s opponent, incumbent Jonathan Binkley, said he believes the TV ad is funded by supporters of Gov. John Kasich, who is attempting to get his own loyalist elected chairman of the Ohio Republican Party.
“If that is so, it would be because I’m known to support Kevin DeWine. I think essentially they’re trying to buy the election. That’s an expensive set of commercials for the time slot,” said Mr. Binkley, whose own barrage of postcard advertising is paid for by the Republican Party.
Mr. Stainbrook, who hasn’t declared sides in the power struggle between Mr. DeWine and Mr. Kasich, said Mr. DeWine should not be paying for commercials against a local party chairman.
“This money should be going to fight Obama not … against me as a sitting chairman who has all the respect in the world for the Ohio Republican Party,” Mr. Stainbrook said.
Mr. Binkley denied that his full-color postcards depicting him with Governor Kasich are deceptive. He said he supports the governor, although he thought Mr. Kasich “reached a little too far” with Issue 2 — the attempt to undercut public employee collective bargaining.
A third candidate is also in the race — Sean Binkley, who is not related to Jonathan Binkley.
The TV ad is running on several local stations. An employee at WTVG-TV, Channel 13, said it started on Friday and had run 29 times as of Monday afternoon.
Officials at two local television stations said the source of funding is not clear because the state central committee is not technically a state political office and thus is not covered by laws requiring political commercials to identify the source of funding.
The ad claims to be paid for by Restoring Ohio Inc. based in Gahanna. A business called Restoring Ohio Inc., in Gahanna, is incorporated in the state of Delaware.
Contact Tom Troy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6058.