Political Pulse is a weekly column with the goal of giving objective, to-the-point information to readers on current political events.

Ohio GOP officially endorses Mike DeWine for governor

With the primaries approaching in May, the Republican establishment officially weighed in on the race to be the party’s candidate for governor come November, handily endorsing Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine in a 59-2 vote this past Friday.

Ohio’s Attorney General Mike DeWine is running for governor and is up against Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, among others, in the May primaries. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

The competition to represent the party is between DeWine, a longtime party figure, and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who has branded herself as the outside conservative, akin to President Donald Trump, going as far as to dub her opponent “D.C. DeWine.”

“Ohio’s future brightened today as the State Central Committee voted to endorse a pro-growth, pro-family candidate in Mike DeWine,” Jane Timken, the party’s chair, said in a statement following the vote. “Mike DeWine is the right person to lead Ohio boldly into tomorrow. The Ohio Republican Party is proud to support Mike DeWine, and we look forward to his victory in November.”

Taylor asked the party not to put its finger on the scales with an official endorsement, but nonetheless delivered a livestream message on Twitter with her running mate Nathan Estruth following the vote.

“At the end of the day it is going to be the people of Ohio that decide. It’s going to be conservatives that rise up with us as we go town to town and county to county over the next 88-plus days,” Estruth said. “It’s about time we actually took on the establishment in Ohio and in Columbus and even in the Republican party.”

With less than 90 days to go, the rhetoric is sure to heat up as Taylor continues to try and pin the establishment moniker on DeWine.

White House official steps down amid abuse allegations

White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter resigned his position this week following news that his past wives, Jennie Willoughby and Colbie Holderness, accused him of physical abuse.

The physical abuse of women is also reportedly the reason why the FBI never gave Porter a permanent security clearance while he was working at the White House.

The White House first defended Porter, but after graphic evidence hit the internet as part of an op-ed in the Washington Post by Holderness, the tone mostly changed. Kellyanne Conway told Jake Tapper she had no reason not to believe the women. Chief of Staff John Kelly said when he found out the allegations were true, Porter was gone “40 minutes later.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray seemed to contradict Kelly’s timeline Tuesday, though, during his testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Trump, however, put out a tweet that issued caution in allowing a “mere allegation” to ruin someone’s life.

Pushing back against the criticism of his tweet on Wednesday, Trump gave a statement in a press briefing regarding domestic violence.

“I am totally opposed to domestic violence and everybody here knows that,” Trump said. “Everyone knows that, and it almost wouldn’t even have to be said. So now you hear it, but you all know it.”

Much is left up to debate, and Porter is still denying the claims of his ex-wives, but Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, head of the House of Oversight Committee, told CNN on Wednesday that an investigation was being launched to look into the situation.