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Padre in the woods
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I stole this off a Facebook page which was 'public', and personally, I would probably vote for the guy because he's a businessman and not a friggin politician. I'm sick of what DeWine did to our state, and private business. I'll never forgive him. Never! Now, can we find conservatives for Michigan, and Pennsylvania?

‘Cowboy’ candidate gains following
Ohio Republican running for governor draws grassroots support

Shirt Beard Organ Tartan Wrinkle
BY LIZ SKALKA BLADE POLITICS WRITER

TIFFIN — It was a political event befitting a top‑tier statewide candidate: 100 guests, a catered spread, a silent auction, a table stacked with campaign merchandise, a pianist tapping out radio hits.

Except it was all for one who’s barely registering a blip in his race — at least by most traditional measures.
Joe Blystone isn’t a name many Ohioans know.

But Mr. Blystone, the sometimes mentioned second GOP primary challenger to Gov. Mike DeWine, and his army of volunteers are working to change that.

Earlier this month, Mr. Blystone drew the equivalent of a small wedding to the Chandelier Community Event Center in Tiffin for a fund-raiser and meet and greet, events he’s been hosting across the state since beginning his bid for Ohio governor in February.

For an idea of how deep his grassroots support is, Mr. Blystone’s campaign said it didn’t pay for much that day — not the food, the event space, or the pianist.

His local volunteers, many of whom discovered Mr. Blystone on Facebook or at other in‑person events, secured it all as in‑kind campaign contributions, they said.

Mr. Blystone’s running mate for lieutenant governor, Joanna Swallen, a Stark County business owner who made news for refusing to enforce masks at her restaurant, sums up Mr. Blystone’s presence like this: If you can’t find him in a crowd, you may not be looking hard enough.

She’s right.

A 52‑year‑old cattle farmer from Canal Winchester in central Ohio, Mr. Blystone commands a room.
It’s the combination of the cowboy hat and boots, fleecy beard, and quiet drawl that seems to draw people into his orbit. He has the aura of a preacher if that person happened to be sermonizing about coronavirus shutdowns, medical freedom, critical race theory, election fraud, and the incumbent governor.

“This guy in Columbus should be put in jail for what he’s done,” Mr. Blystone told his supporters on July 9, referring to Mr. DeWine and a laundry list of grievances centered on pandemic business closures and health orders.

Mr. DeWine’s campaign declined comment.

Mr. Blystone, who bills himself as a “constitutional conservative,” underscores a real vulnerability for Mr. DeWine, who’s shown signs of losing conservative support. Less moderate Republican voters are hungry for an alternative, especially one who isn’t viewed as part of the GOP establishment.

Brittany Hofelich, a 31‑year‑old retail manager from Clyde, said that’s why she supports Mr. Blystone over former U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, who’s also running a gubernatorial campaign critical of Mr. DeWine.

She discovered Mr. Blystone through her husband, who found a video of him online, then went to see him at an event in Fremont. He reminds her of another nonpolitician politician, she said.

“Trump all day, every day, because he came in and he did what he said he would do,” Ms. Hofelich said. “I don’t think Joe has any interest in staying in politics, so he’s not there to make friends.”

She likes that he doesn’t have the practiced skills of a seasoned politician. “When he talks, it’s not polished and pretty always, but he’s real,” she said.

Another volunteer, Shelley Smith, who voted for Mr. DeWine in 2018, said people are fed up with the leadership in Columbus and believe there’s no one in their corner. “People have had enough. They want somebody for them. I don’t think anybody’s out there for us right now,” she said.

Mr. Blystone said that as a business owner, coronavirus shutdowns are primarily what prompted him to enter the race. Blystone Farm in Canal Winchester encompasses the cattle operation, which he started in 2004, as well as a market, restaurant, and event space.

“I’m just the farmer who likes to be on the back forty taking care of my cows. Not the guy in the limelight. That’s not me,” he said, as the pianist played Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” a few feet away. “But here I am because we need somebody to stand up for people.”

Prior to building out the farm, Mr. Blystone, a Columbiana County native, ran an auto equipment company. He closed it during the recession in 2008, the same year he lost his second wife to melanoma.

His current wife, Jane Blystone, has joined the Blystone traveling roadshow, accompanying her husband at appearances around the state. But that’s meant spending time away from their employees and their 83‑acre farm.
“When anything breaks, we don’t call the electrician. We don’t call the plumber. It’s Joe Blystone. So that was my concern, that we’ve got a great business and I was worried about the business,” Ms. Blystone said. “But he’s passionate about it and this is what he feels he has to do, and we have put people in place to take care of the business.”

Mr. Blystone’s campaign says it’s been able to quickly expand its reach online, boasting more Facebook likes than his rival Mr. Renacci, and Republican Senate candidates Josh Mandel and Jane Timken.

The campaign said it’s recruited 6,000 volunteers and has leaders from every Ohio county, and has collected roughly $125,000 in donations for 25,000 yard signs.

There’s no way to independently verify those claims yet. But Mr. Blystone’s fund-raising data will be available next month, providing a clearer picture of the infrastructure he’s building.

“Our social media, our Facebook page is blowing up. Our numbers are way beyond people that’s been in politics for years — Jim Renacci, Josh Mandel, Jane Timken,” said Mr. Blystone, who wouldn’t share his current fund-raising number.

The reality is that Mr. Renacci, a wealthy former businessman, and Mr. DeWine can both make up for whatever they lack in grassroots excitement by floating their campaigns millions of their own dollars.

In 2018, Mr. DeWine loaned his campaign $3 million in its closing days to push him over the final hump against Democrat Richard Cordray, who now works in President Biden’s administration. Mr. Renacci loaned his unsuccessful Senate campaign millions of dollars the same year.

Most mainstream Republicans are keeping their distance from Mr. Blystone for now, although in May he showed up to a GOP state central committee meeting and the Strongsville GOP convention.

“The establishment isn’t really paying attention [to me],” Mr. Blystone said. “Well, they are, but I’m making them uncomfortable.”

Mr. Blystone said he met recently with Ohio GOP chairman Bob Paduchik about his campaign.

The party’s governing committee is deciding in September how to handle primary endorsements, which means that its backing isn’t necessarily a given for Mr. DeWine.

A party spokesman confirmed the meeting between Mr. Blystone and Mr. Paduchik, saying Mr. Paduchik routinely meets with candidates and offers them advice and party resources.

In a sign that he already has some motivated detractors, a website exists with links to Mr. Blystone’s public marriage, divorce, and business records, including documentation of Paycheck Protection Program loans for both his and Ms. Swallen’s businesses.

The forgivable federal loans for small business were included in Congress’s coronavirus rescue packages, and could be seized as evidence the two are not as pro‑small government as they claim.

Mr. Blystone also has plenty of his own targets: Ohio’s election system, ********‑rights activists, “RINO,” or Republican in Name Only, members of the GOP, and of course Mr. DeWine, whom he calls a “tyrant” for pandemic health orders that prohibited nursing homes from accepting visitors, and forced closures that he said devastated small businesses.
“These big corporations last year had record profits,” he said. “Many of these Mom and Pop shops closed and they will never open again, ever.”

He also associates with controversial figures such as Douglas Frank, a math teacher from Cincinnati who spoke at former President Donald Trump’s Ohio rally last month and whose claims about widespread election fraud have been refuted by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, who has said voter fraud is extremely rare.

The essence of Mr. Blystone’s pitch is that he’s nothing like Mr. DeWine and more like conservatives’ favorite coronavirus governors — Florida’s Ron DeSantis, South Dakota’s Kristi Noem, and Texas’s Greg Abbott — but with an extra flourish.

“Folks, I’m that person,” he said to big applause. “And who doesn’t love a cowboy?”
 

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LoL, I'm from Tiffin (origin of article). Tiffin, Fremont, Fostoria are all a great little piece of Ohio. Even with Heidelberg College conservativism pretty much still rules. A lot of old Germans and Amish settled the area.

Dewine is another story, but as much as I dislike him, Richard Cordray (D) would have been many times worse as Governor. Dewine was the first Republican I ever voted against when he was finally kicked out of the Senate. Unfortunately Sherrod Brown ended up winning. It was then that I learned to pick my battles more wisely. As weak as he is, he is still better than any Democrat, trust me.

The time for these fights is in the primaries. So the question becomes, can Mr Blystone 'win' the State of Ohio? I doubt that.

Sorry, JMHO
 

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Indefatigable
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The moment you register to run for public office, be it dog catcher or POTUS you become a politician.
 

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I have no use for DeWine, Cordray, or Brown. I would rather give a nod to the dark horse, than the ones who you know the fix is in. BTW, my family is from Pemberville, and my sister went to Heidelberg. We're der Deutsch.
Well done, Foxtrot.

BTW, if we had one of those Dems, we'd still be in lockdown, wearing a mask to bed. 😒
 
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Terra Nullius
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LoL, I'm from Tiffin (origin of article). Tiffin, Fremont, Fostoria are all a great little piece of Ohio. Even with Heidelberg College conservativism pretty much still rules. A lot of old Germans and Amish settled the area.

Dewine is another story, but as much as I dislike him, Richard Cordray (D) would have been many times worse as Governor. Dewine was the first Republican I ever voted against when he was finally kicked out of the Senate. Unfortunately Sherrod Brown ended up winning. It was then that I learned to pick my battles more wisely. As weak as he is, he is still better than any Democrat, trust me.

The time for these fights is in the primaries. So the question becomes, can Mr Blystone 'win' the State of Ohio? I doubt that.

Sorry, JMHO
He looks like any number of the people at the Tiffin Flea Market!
 

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My whole family is voting for him. Dewine is so unpopular among his party.
 

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There will definitely be a primary run off here in the GOP. The legislature has overturned two of dewines votos very recently and threatened to impeach him twice that I know of, one of those directly connected to the first veto overturning. IMHO, Dewine has gone full Kasich on us here, just not to the whiney punk stage..... yet. OTOH, except for Brown in Cleveland, the GOP runs this state, especially after clearing out 734k of dead or non-resident voters from the votting rolls, 413k from Cleveland alone in the first of 3 geographically sectional phases. That was our leutenant governor as Secretary of State. HE should be running against Dewine.

So, Dewine needs to retire to his family farm. Renacci probably needs to continue his neferious activities as a businessman. Tim Ryan needs to join Marc Dann in political purgatory. Since Husted isnt running, I will vote for Blystone in the primary and Midterms.
 

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Padre in the woods
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My whole family is voting for him. Dewine is so unpopular among his party.
DeWhine has lost all respect for most of the conservative businessmen because of his pandering to big business while shutting off small business.
 
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