With a battle brewing over party control, the leadership of the Lucas County Republican Party cemented its position on the Lucas County Board of Elections by re-electing Patrick Kriner to a four-year term on the board yesterday.
The vote came in a closed meeting that was protested by Jon Stainbrook, the Republican Party activist who is leading a rival slate in the upcoming primary election for the party's central committee.
"It's still the same backroom politics that it was under Tom and Bernadette Noe, and a closed-door meeting for a public appointment is completely wrong," Mr. Stainbrook said.
He said he called party Chairman Robert Reichert Friday night to ask that the meeting be postponed, or at least that he be allowed to attend. He said Mr. Reichert rejected both those requests.
Mr. Reichert said the executive committee met legally.
Mr. Kriner is one of two Republicans on the four-member elections board. The other is Lynn Olman, who is in the middle of a four-year term.
The executive committee met at party headquarters in Maumee's Arrowhead Park. About 50 people attended the meeting, which lasted about seven minutes. The executive committee is made up of ward chairmen, elected officials, and appointees of the chairman.
Mr. Reichert said the urgency of the meeting was that the party had to submit an appointee to the Ohio Secretary of State by Tuesday or risk having the secretary of state fill the seat.
Mr. Stainbrook contends the party has until Feb. 14 to make its appointment.
Mr. Stainbrook has recruited 159 candidates to run for seats on the party central committee in the primary election March 4. The party organization has fielded 126 candidates, which would appear to give Mr. Stainbrook's slate the voting edge when the committee meets in May to elect a chairman.
Mr. Stainbrook has not said whether he intends to be a candidate for chairman. Mr. Stainbrook has said his goal is to open up the party to new people and to get rid of practices that he thinks hark back to when the party was controlled by the Noes.
Mr. Stainbrook claims Mr. Kriner should not have been re-elected because of what he said is incompetence on the board of elections during Mr. Kriner's term.
He cited what he said were eight new candidate petitions submitted by the party that initially were overlooked.
"I question whether that is partisan politics or simply a mistake by the employees of the board. Either way that's unacceptable for me," Mr. Stainbrook said.
Mr. Reichert said Mr. Stainbrook's allegations came too late to justify calling off yesterday's meeting.
He defended Mr. Kriner and the current elections board.
"Everything I've heard is [Mr. Kriner] has done a good job," Mr. Reichert said.
Mr. Kriner could not be reached for comment.
Contact Tom Troy at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6058.
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