Tom Zawistowski, President of the We the People Convention and the Ohio Citizens PAC, released a recap of the 2014 Election from the view of the Ohio TEA Party movement. The Ohio Citizens PAC had endorsed 44 candidates for various state and local offices in Ohio in the General Election. Over 63% of them were elected to office including all endorsed state office holders, 15 Ohio house members and 4 of the 5 endorsed county commissioners. This performance was an example of how this Republican “wave election” was powered nationally by the TEA Party movement.
A major highlight of the election for the Ohio TEA Party movement was the biggest upset in the state. TEA Party member and TEA Party backed candidate Steve Kraus defeated Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern for his seat in the 89th Ohio House District. A race few thought could be won. After the defeat Redfern resigned as State Democratic Chairman. Nationally, the role that the Ohio TEA Party played in winning the North Carolina Senate seat was another huge success.
Zawistowski, talked about the Kraus win over Redfern, “Steve Kraus ran a great race in the Congressional Primary in 2012 and really showed that he knew how to connect with people. We thought that he would run against Kaptur for Congress this year, then at the last moment he decided that he could beat Redfern and he put his name on the ballot. When we saw the first polling showing Steve was in the lead, we contacted the ORP but they did next to nothing to help. So, the Ohio Citizens PAC put what few resources we had into the race and Steve did the rest. Now the people of the 89th House District have a representative who is only beholding to them because no party or special interest did anything to help Steve win. That is representative government it is meant to be.”
Zawistowski was also proud of the role the Ohio TEA Party played nationally in trying to take back control of the Senate. “With so few contested races in Ohio this year, we knew that we had to use our resources elsewhere and do what we could to win the Senate. FreedomWorks and TEA Party Patriots gave hundreds of Ohio TEA Party members the opportunity to make calls from home into the key Senate states. Other members actually went to other states to help and many gave money. Our biggest success was in North Carolina where we teamed up with Concerned Veterans for America to take volunteers from Ohio down there every week during October and through to election day. By our count, Ohio TEA Party members knocked on 40,000 doors in the Charlotte and Greenville areas, mostly in areas where the Democrat Hagan was expecting to win votes. The election in North Carolina came down to the Charlotte area and Hagan did not get the votes she needed and we know that our members were partially responsible for the Republicans winning that key Senate seat. The sacrifice and effort our people made for the good of our nation is more than admirable, it is truly Patriotic.”
Zawistowski concluded by saying, “Nationally we were very happy to take over the Senate, grow conservative strength in the House, and add to a growing majority of conservative governors. This was a total repudiation of the liberal regressive agenda and a demand by the American people for Republicans to stop the policies of the past six years dead in their tracks. We will quickly see if establishment Republicans have the guts to do what is right for the American people and if they do not, they will lose control of the Senate and the Presidency in 2016. On the downside, the turnout for elections was terrible, as more and more Americans feel disenfranchised and shut out of the political process. In our view voters must be given legitimate choices in every election and candidates with different views should be on the ballot. Unfortunately what we saw Tuesday in Ohio was the exact opposite. There were only a hand full of races that were actual elections with voters left with no reason to go to the polls – and they did not. Only 38.86% of registered voters came out to vote, down almost a million and 10% from 2010. This is what you get from gerrymandering districts so that only one voice can be heard. The TEA Party Movement is determined to reclaim the electoral process from the parties so that true citizen candidates, like Steve Kraus, can run for office and not be owned by a party machine or other special interests. We can assure the people of Ohio that in the coming years, there will be many more Steve Krauses and a lot fewer John Kasich and Chris Redferns on the ballot.”