Conservative/Tea Party/Insurgent Voter Guide

March 5, 2012

Update (November 2nd, 2013):  If you came looking for a Cincinnati voter guide for 2013, the best I can do is to point you to this Cincinnati East Tea Party 2013 voter guide.


Update (November 5th, 2012):  If you’re looking for the voter guide for November 2012, go here:

“Tea Party/Conservative Voter Guide for Ohio, 2012”

(The below guide was for the primaries.  The one linked above is for the general election.)

Update (March 7th, 2012):  Read about how things turned out here: “Hamilton County Primary-election Results”.

Ohio’s primary is tomorrow.  For your convenience, I’ve assembled a list of the best conservative candidate in each contested race in Hamilton County; feel free to print this out and take it with you into the polling booth.  If you want to know more about how I selected these candidates, with links to my sources and further information, read on below.

  • Josh Mandel for U.S. Senate
  • Brad Wenstrup for U.S. House of Representatives, 2nd District
  • Rebecca Heimlich for State Central Committee, 7th District
  • Tom Brinkman for Ohio House of Representatives, 27th District
  • Mike Wilson for Ohio House of Representatives, 28th District
  • Louis William Blessing III for Ohio House of Representatives, 29th District

In Hamilton County this time around, most races are uncontested.  (You can see who will be on your precinct’s ballots by entering your address at Smart Voter, or see the whole list of Hamilton County candidates at the Board of Elections’ Web site.  I have relied on the latter where it conflicts with the former.  Any Republican races in Hamilton County that are not listed below are, as far as I can tell, uncontested.)  You already know my views on the presidential contest.  The next-biggest contest is for the Senate.


Five candidates are vying for the Republican nomination for Senate.  The winner will go up against Democrat incumbent Sherrod Brown in November.  The five candidates are David W. DodtDonna GlismanEric LaMont GregoryJosh Mandel, and Michael Pryce.

Josh Mandel supports immediate and total repeal of Obamacare.  He supports a balanced-budget amendment.  Mandel has been endorsed by Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund (which also offers a handy list of his positions on issues), Red State, the Tea Party Express, the National Rifle Association, and Ohio Right to Life PAC.  I made some effort to search for a contrary opinion of him, but couldn’t find any real criticism of Mandel from a conservative point of view.  I think you should vote for him.

House of Representatives, 2nd District

Three challengers—Tony Brush, Fred Kundrata, and Brad Wenstrup—would like to present a fresh alternative to Republican incumbent Jean Schmidt, who is running for a fifth term.

In 2011, Schmidt earned a rating of 82.2% conservative (that is, 17.8% liberal, as they count it) from National Journal, 80% conservative from the  American Conservative Union, and 76% conservative from Heritage Action—which is good, but not nearly as good as, say, the 1st district’s Steve Chabot (unopposed for the nomination this year), who scored 89.7% (10.3%), 96%, and 83%, respectively (ibid.).  Schmidt’s time in Congress has also been marred by various controversies.

Despite endorsements including the National Rifle Association and Ohio Right to Life PAC, I think it may be time to let Schmidt go, and give someone else a chance.  If so, the only remaining question is which of her three challengers to support in her place.

Brad Wenstrup is endorsed by Tea Party umbrella organization the Ohio Liberty Council and by the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST).  He seems to be the Tea Party candidate.  The NRA gives him an “A” rating based on its questionnaire.  He’s pro-life, he’s a doctor, and he thinks congressmen should work vigorously to repeal Obamacare.

Tony Brush says some good stuff about federalism and devolving power back to the states, but cannot boast Wenstrup’s endorsements.  Fred Kundrata supports amnesty for illegals (“The goal of immigration reform should be to keep families intact, and to uphold American ideals of civil rights as an example to the rest of the world.  Coupled with these goals, we should also recognize that common sense and compassionate immigration reform offers enormous potential to strengthen our economy and workforce.  I would support legislation for a constitutionally sound structured process specifically for the estimated eleven million illegal immigrants to be on a pathway toward citizenship, that is considerate, yet differs from the current pathway for legal immigrants.”) and is the only one in the race who “Refused to answer the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire, often an indication of indifference, if not outright hostility, to gun owners’ and sportsmen’s rights.”

State Central Committee of the Republican Party, 7th District, Female Seat

Rebecca Heimlich and Jean Raga are competing for this seat; neither is the incumbent.

Rebecca Heimlich is the current Ohio State Director of the excellent pro-liberty non-profit organization Americans for Prosperity.  She is endorsed by COAST.

Related information:  Learn about the current “Drama in GOP central committee races”.  Many people don’t know much about the state central committee, but it’s an important body:

Republicans and Democrats each have a 66-member State Central Committee. Every two years, party members choose one man and one woman from the 33 state Senate districts to serve.

The committees are the governing bodies of their respective parties. They recruit and endorse candidates, and decide who the party will support financially . . . .

This cycle . . . [Republican] Committee members also endorsed themselves in their own re-election bids — giving them access to party resources to campaign.

Ohio House of Representatives, 27th District

Incumbent Peter Stautberg faces Tom Brinkman, who served in the Ohio House from 2001 to 2008.

Stautberg is endorsed by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce (“100 percent lifetime voting record”) and Ohio Right to Life PAC.  He is listed as one of the “Conservative All-Stars” and “Defenders of Liberty” in the American Conservative Union’s new state-level legislative ratings.

However, there are some indications that Tom Brinkman may be even more conservative.  He is one of the founders of and endorsed by COAST.  Cincinnati Right to Life PAC has endorsed him as well as Stautberg.  Brinkman responds to the negative ads being run against him here.

Ohio House of Representatives, 28th District

Lonnie Bowling, Jr. and Mike Wilson are competing to go up against Democrat incumbent Connie Pillich.

Mike Wilson is endorsed by Ohio Right to Life PACCOAST, and the Buckeye Firearms Association.  He is the founder of the Cincinnati Tea Party.

Ohio House of Representatives, 29th District

Louis William Blessing III and Raj Rajagopal seek the nomination to replace the Republican incumbent, Blessing’s father, whom term limits prevent from running again.

Louis W. Blessing III is endorsed by the Ohio Right to Life PAC and the Buckeye Firearms Association.

5 Responses to “Conservative/Tea Party/Insurgent Voter Guide”

  1. Thanks! Says:

    Great work, Chillingworth! Thank you.

  2. Snoodickle Says:

    Here’s an idea: Live election blogging. What could be more exciting?!

  3. […] five for seven on the candidates this blog recommended as the best conservative and Tea Party […]

  4. […] we already had reason to believe that Mandel might support such an amendment, but politicians’ promises can perhaps best be […]

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