www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-md-gop-letter-20121128,0,193176.story

baltimoresun.com

Forcing out GOP chair not a winning strategy

3:00 PM EST, November 29, 2012

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In response to The Sun's article on a group trying to oust Maryland Republican Party Chairman Alex Mooney in the middle of his term ("Defeats lead to calls for Md. GOP chief's ouster," Nov. 25), my suggestion to Maryland Republicans is to look to Ohio.

Late last year and early in 2012, the newly elected governor, John Kasich, pressured members of the party's state central committee in order to oust party chairman Kevin DeWine. (In Ohio, the party's state central committee elects the state party chairman in January of odd years.) There was no compelling reason for Chairman DeWine to go early — no scandal, no crimes committed. It was simply a personal gripe. In fact, the Ohio Republican Party successfully helped to elect the entire slate of statewide candidates in 2010.

However, Governor Kasich and his staff succeeded, and Mr. DeWine was ousted midterm. Several of my colleagues were defeated at the polls in the March primary for simply refusing to go along with the governor's strong arm tactics. I was a target of Mr. Kasich's strong arm tactics also; however, I won my election. The results were lots of hard feelings among long loyal Republicans and party faithful in the state which, along with other factors, helped President Barack Obama win Ohio.

As a former Marylander who grew up in Arbutus, I know the people of Maryland will listen to reasonable Republicans. I do not know Mr. Mooney personally, but I do know that he was a successful state legislator and serves as party chairman without compensation. It is important for Maryland to have a strong, viable Republican Party. If there are groups out there with workable solutions to help elect Republicans in an overwhelmingly Democratic state, I suggest they contact their local party chairman or other elected officials and work with them to help achieve victory on Election Day. Dividing our party will only further help unite the liberal Democrats.

Andrew Manning, Ravenna, Ohio

The writer is a member of the Ohio Republican Party state central committee.