The women running for the Republican state central committee for the 13th District are: Incumbent (and ORP-endorsed, meaning endorsed by the ORP staff, not the committee) Joyce Houck of Huron County, and Marilyn Jacobcik former director and deputy director of the Lorain County Board of Elections.
This one is a no-brainer. Marilyn Jacobcik.
The very opening sentence of the Permanent Rules of the Republican State Central and Executive Committee of Ohio, on file with the Ohio Secretary of State reads:
“The controlling committee of the Ohio Republican Party, the Republican State Central Committee, shall consist of two members, one man and one woman, representing each senatorial district in the state.”
What’s the second word of the sentence (I’ll give you a hint for all those Kevin DeWine rubber-stamps: it’s immediately after the word “The,” written with a capital “T”)? The word is “controlling,” as in the committee controlling the Ohio Republican Party, not the Ohio Republican Party controlling the committee.
And if the Ohio Republican Party didn’t need any control, there would be no need for the committee. But there is a need for the committee, because there is a need for control. We just need committee members who will exert the control.
Joyce Houck has been on that committee, but has been controlled by the ORP instead of controlling it. For that reason, her name and image appear on mailers paid for, printed on behalf of, and distributed by the Ohio Republican Committee with the designation of “endorsed” in this contested primary. These are staff endorsements. These are not endorsements decided by a vote of her peers on the committee. Kevin DeWine wants to be very selective in who gets to be part of the state central committee, and who does not. Voter input is required, according to the permanent rules which have the force of law, but voter input won’t be welcome if it contradicts DeWine’s wishes.
Make no mistake, if you are voting for Joyce Houck, you are on the side of Kevin DeWine. If you are troubled by Kevin DeWine’s leadership, you should not strengthen DeWine’s hand by voting for Houck. You should vote for Marilyn Jacobcik.
But that’s not all.
One of the things that gets my dander up is when the Republican Party, at any level, takes sides, and steers party resources accordingly, in a contested primary. I have no problem with an individual who happens to be in a party leadership role making a personal endorsement or donating or raising funds that aren’t the party’s funds. Joyce Houck has helped steer the Huron County Republican Party, and now the Ohio Republican Party, toward her favored picks in contested primaries for years. Marilyn Jacobcik has not done that.
Joyce Houck enjoys the perceived prestige from being announced as a dignitary at Republican functions where she is recognized as being a member on the state central committee. But her involvement on the committee hasn’t opened up the floor to greater discussion and healthier debate concerning proposals on the agendas. Marilyn Jacobcik won’t just sit there, occupy a chair, and vote 100% the way Kevin DeWine tells her to.
One of the things that I believe the Ohio Republican Party should prioritize is the GOTV (get out the vote) effort. Ever since the time when former Speaker of the House, Jon Husted, presided over passage of a bill that changed absentee voting to early voting, the Republican Party has lost a lot of ground to the Democrats in elections. We need to make up for lost ground. The ORP is working on this, and is getting a chance to use this primary as a practice run for November. But you know who would be an insightful person to add to the state central committee to offer some guidance on the GOTV efforts? Marilyn Jacobcik, who managed the day-to-day operations of a busy county Board of Elections. Believe me, she knows some things, and she’s seen some things. Her experience, expertise, and point-of-view could be very useful.
And if the ORP lets go of micromanaging and intervening in contested primaries, and keeps its eyes trained on the GOTV effort, Republicans can start winning elections again.
And for those who are wondering, yes, Marilyn Jacobcik is very much involved in local 9-12 groups.
And for the other seat, Robert Rousseau.