BELVIDERE, Ohio (AP) — Republican officials in a southwestern Ohio county have accused the state's Republican governor of having "grossly mishandled" this year's primary election and not having "reacted appropriately" to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Warren County GOP, in a resolution signed Monday, called on Republican Gov. Mike DeWine to open Ohio to "all commerce" and allow residents "to make lawful decisions regarding their own well-being and safety."
The resolution argues that closing polls hours before the March primary was a decision for the General Assembly, not the governor. It accuses DeWine of having "improperly outsourced" decisions to the former health director, "arbitrary" enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions and not lifting restrictions fast enough when cases declined.
Chairman Jeff Monroe, asked last week about the resolution, called it "simply a reminder that Warren County was hit hard and we need his help." He said the county Republican party "is confident that the governor has Ohio's best interest in mind and will work hard to reopen our economy as quickly as possible."
DeWine's office hasn't commented on the resolution. But spokesman Dan Tierney defended the governor's response to the pandemic, pointing to the situation in other states and saying "Ohio has been lauded for its response. That has kept Ohioans healthy and safe."
The state Republican party also told the Enquirer that it "strongly" supports the governor's leadership on the pandemic. "Like any family, there are disagreements, and we will work through them," spokesman Evan Machan said in a statement.