Primary candidates address DCRWC


By Tammy Watts

GREENVILLE — The Darke County Republican Women’s Club (DCRWC) hosted candidates who will be on the ballot in the upcoming Ohio primary on Aug. 2. Each candidate was given the opportunity to speak for three minutes.

New Bremen Village Council President Jacob Larger, vying to represent the 84th District, recently drawn open by the Ohio Redistricting Commission, addressed the meeting first.

“People make time for what is important to them, and this group, this county, is important to me,” he stated. Larger emphasized his decade of experience in workforce development, at a time when the entire nation is struggling in that area. Additionally, he worked as an advocate for small business owners with the National Federation of Independent Business.

Larger also wants to focus on young adults aging out of foster care. “They are the most under-served population,” he said, adding that services such as employment transportation, and education assistance should be made a priority. Attention to the foster care system, as well as easing the adoption process, are crucial components to his staunchly pro-life stance.

Angie King, and Aimee Morrow are also running for State Representative (OH-84), but were not in attendance.

Jake Eilerman, and Bishop George Andy Roberts, candidates for 12th District Ohio Republican State Central Committeeman, spoke next. Incumbent Keith Cheney, also running for re-election, was not present.

“I’m running because I’ve been disappointed with the Republican Party, particularly these last two years,” Eilerman began. He explained that Republicans did not stand against loss of medical freedom, including vaccine mandates, and forced masking, particularly on schoolchildren. He stated that the Central Committee needs to be more transparent, including voting on-record, and submitting to audits. “My party should be acting more ethically,” he said, including ridding the committee of paid lobbyists. Eilerman also emphasized the necessity of building a state party platform.

Roberts, who has served communities through ministry since the age of 16, is running as an anti-establishment Republican, stating that the party has drifted a long way from the ideals of Abraham Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan. “We should not be electing people based on endorsements, or who has the most money,” he said. “Everyone says they are a ‘proven fighter,’ but I was standing on the [Sandusky County] courthouse steps, calling out a corrupt prosecutor, fighting for women, when no one else would listen.” Prosecutor Tim Braun eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor negligent assault of a female co-worker, was suspended, and subsequently ordered to resign from office in January 2020.

Incumbent 12th District Central Committeewoman Katie DeLand of North Star, stated that she is proud of the Republican Party in Ohio. “When united, we are the best,” she said. Her accomplishments include bringing a U.S. Senate debate to Versailles, and increasing Republican voter turnout in Darke County from 78 percent, to 83 percent. DeLand’s opponent for Committeewoman, Stephanie Kremer, who did not attend.

Mary Beth Kemmer, incumbent 5th District Central Committeewoman, logged 1,000 hours of volunteer work for the Republican Party in 2021. She delivered the prayer at three local Trump rallies, and has been active in the Miami County Republican Women’s Club (MCRWC) for over 20 years. She referred to her opponent, Jessica Franz, as a “Jessica-come-lately,” explaining that she had only registered as a Republican two months ago. Kemmer prides herself in representing the entire Republican party, while labeling her Franz as a “far-right fringe” candidate.

When asked whom the candidates support for Ohio Governor, both Roberts and Eilerman indicated Neil Petersen, a conservative independent, would be their choice, should he be on the ballot. Neither will vote for incumbent Mike DeWine. “He appointed a pro-choice Health Director, Amy Acton, and locked our state down,” Eilerman stated. DeLand and Kemmer said they stand behind DeWine. “The people have spoken,” DeLand reiterated.

Steve Bruns, running for 5th District Central Committeeman, incumbent Stephen Huffman (5th District State Senator), and incumbent Jena Powell (OH-80) are all unopposed in the Aug. 2 primary, and did not attend the meeting.

Susan Manchester, who previously represented the 84th District, is now running for re-election in the 86th District, comprised of Allen County, and northern Auglaize County.

DCRWC held its regular monthly meeting after the candidates finished speaking. DCRWC meets the second Monday of every month at 6 p.m., in the Shawnee Prairie Preserve Nature Center, 4267 State Route 503, Greenville, except January and August. Dinner reservations are required before noon on the Thursday preceding the meeting date. For reservations, call Wavelene Denniston at 937-547-6477. For more information, call President Jaime LeVeck at 937-670-0311.

Contact Daily Advocate Reporter Tammy Watts at [email protected].

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