Rift grows bigger among Lucas Co. Republicans - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Rift grows bigger among Lucas Co. Republicans

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At Toledo's Main Street Bar & Grill, GOP members under Jon Stainbrook's leadership had business at hand Wednesday night.  They nominated two people to fill open spots on the board of elections, former board director Ben Roberts, and political newcomer Kelly Bensman.
    
Secretary of State John Husted has to approve any additions following his removal of three people from the board last month, which he called dysfunctional.

"There will be new members up there, it's a new day and the voters will have confidence once again," Stainbrook told 13abc.

"I'm going to look at what other counties have been doing and are doing, and we're going to make it better," said Roberts.

Across town in Maumee, another group of GOP Republicans were meeting, to elect new leadership, also for the Lucas County Republican Party.    Dave Kissinger proudly accepted the nomination as GOP party chair.

"We are not the Tea Party faction, we are not the Stainbrook faction. We are the Lucas County Republican party and that's important for everybody to remember," says Kissinger.

Just a week ago in Toledo, Stainbrook was doing the exact same thing in front a part-friendly, part-hostile crowd.  The internal party split is nothing new for county Republicans.  In 2010, the group went to court in a battle over which one was the legitimate party.

"A quorum of the central committee was present and they voted me chairman of the Lucas County Republican party chairman," said Kissinger. "Any debate or discussion around that is obviously outside of this meeting, and I'm sure will happen in an organized and orderly way."

What's next for the party Republicans?  Both sides say unity is a goal.  But who will lead that pack is still a question with no clear answer.

"I am the Lucas County Republican chairman and I am certainly more than capable of carrying the banner of the Lucas County Republican party moving forward," Kissinger tells 13abc.

Stainbrook says he does not know when Husted will make his decision on their nominations for the board of elections.  County Democrats are scheduled to make their nomination for the board of elections on Thursday.
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