President-elect Donald Trump’s win shook up the political world, and that includes the Republican Party itself. Now that Trump has secured the general election victory, his recent move in Ohio shows that he is not averse to getting involved in the future of the Republican Party.
Congratulation to Jane Timken on her major upset victory in becoming the Ohio Republican Party Chair. Jane is a loyal Trump supporter & star
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2017
When Greg Simpson got the call Thursday afternoon that President-elect Donald Trump wanted to speak with him, he thought it might be a recording.
Instead, he was “stunned” to find Trump himself on the other end of the line, asking him to “consider” voting for Jane Timken for Ohio GOP Chair. Trump’s relationship with Ohio Republican Party chairman Matt Borges this past year was a rocky one, and through surrogates, the president-elect had conveyed his support for Timken to unseat Borges, a longtime ally to Trump critic John Kasich.
Then, the day before the vote, Trump himself got directly involved. He personally called some of the 66 state central committee members who would actually decide the key state’s party leadership.
It worked: Borges allies believed they had enough votes for him to be re-elected — now Timken is the Ohio Republican Party chair.
“I think the one thing that it does is send a signal that clearly he’s willing to play in primaries, at least from a party perspective, so one has to think he might be more willing to do so in the legislative primaries as well,” Saul Anuzis, former Michigan GOP chairman, explained.
After a tough primary battle that trickled into the general election with the Never-Trump holdouts, it appears that Trump is ready and willing to dig in and be a part of the future of the Republican Party.
Some reportedly argue that this could be an isolated case. Whether it is isolated or represents a trend will shake out sooner rather than later over the next few years, however.
We’ll have the opportunity to get an early look at what Trump’s role could be in shaping the future of the Republican Party with four of the president-elect’s nominees for cabinet positions vacating House seats.
An Ohio Republican told Buzzfeed that a state party chair election “is about as in the weeds as it gets.” They continued: “I would say state representative races are on the table; I would say state senate races are on the table.”
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