Neil W. McCabe, OAN National Political Correspondent
UPDATED 2:01 PM PT – Wednesday, August 31, 2022
The vice chairman of the Ohio Republican Party told OAN his and his pro-Trump allies have the votes to oust Robert A. Paduchik as the chairman of the state party at the Sept. 9 meeting of the party’s Central Committee.
“I’m running for state party chairman to replace Bob Paduchik,” said Bryan C. Williams, who served in as a state representative and is now a member of the University of Akron’s board of trustees.
Williams said he met with the chairman three weeks after the Aug. 2 Central Committee elections, so he could tell him that he would launch his challenge.
The vice-chairman said he supported Paduchik to replace Jane Timken in February 2021, when Timken resigned to run for the Senate. At the time, Williams was the acting chairman, but he felt Paduchik’s skills and experience running grassroots campaigns would help the party stay connected with the voters.
Unfortunately, once the chairman got the job, it was as if the state party central committee hired Paduchik and then Paduchik fired the committee, he said.
“He has not followed our party bylaws, and he’s done it to the detriment of those who want a more open, more collaborative and more inclusive process,” he said.
Paduchik has for months been blocking reformers, removing them from committees, and refusing to appoint new members to committee assignments.
“With Bob it’s immediately my way, the highway. You don’t do what I want, you’re dead to meet. Lose my phone number, don’t call me—and for those of us who are on the committee, we can’t let that continue because it’s going to hurt the party in the long run,” he said.
Williams said he was aware of the millions of dollars in write-offs from the party’s books, but the former state legislator does not believe money was stolen, but it is true the party’s books are a mess.
“I think that the records that we are given do not tie back,” he said. “We get these QuickBook spreadsheets that don’t tie back to previous meetings, and they don’t reconcile over from one year end to another year-end–and those are legitimate necessary questions for the finance committee members to make and ask.”
Going into the November midterms, the Ohio Republican Party must reboot and reconnect with its voters, so the party can ramp enthusiasm with Trump supporters boxed out by Paduchik and his staff,” he said.
Williams said this was brought home to him with he had a conversation with one of the party’s statewide candidates.
“Right now, there’s an enthusiasm gap with conservatives in Ohio. I was just talking to one of the statewides, and it was telling me about the polling numbers and saying that the conservatives do not have this turnout enthusiasm that a lot of the Democrats have and they’re wondering why,” he said.
“I said: ‘Well, I think the conduct of the state party contributes to that because we’ve had nothing for Pro-Trump Republicans by the state party organization, they get put down, they get put down, to they get put down.’”