Home > Ohio House 22nd District- Angel Rhodes vs. Kathy Eshelman, What Happened?

Ohio House 22nd District- Angel Rhodes vs. Kathy Eshelman, What Happened?

February 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm Matt Leave a comment Go to comments

Earlier this week I mentioned I would be at the Franklin County Central Committee event, cheering on Bill Todd for the State House. Apparently, I was so distracted with the vote counting assignment that I missed all the inside-baseball excitement from the 22nd State House District.

From a friend:

Kathy Eshelman had already filed her petition to challenge John Patrick Carney in the 22nd District and has $25,000 cash on hand in her account. She had the endorsement of the screening committee and the backing of Jo Ann Davidson, Betty Montgomery, Deborah Pryce & Cheryl Grossman. Angel Rhodes was nominated from the floor.

Due to party rules, Eshelman spoke first and Rhodes second due to alphabetical order of last name. Eshelman began her speech by saying that this was the first central committee meeting she had ever attended and finished by calling herself a “Scott Brown Republican.” To the pro-life members of the committee “Scott Brown Republican” is code for pro-choice (which Kathy is).

Angel Rhodes had long-time committee member Bill Schmidt say that Angel Rhodes was ”the only registered Republican” running for the endorsement. Audible gasps could be heard around the room. Schmidt added that Rhodes also had the backing of former Rep. Jim Hughes’ team, now senator, who held that district for 4 terms. Eschelman supporters frantically canvassed the room distributing a board of elections printout showing Eshelman’s voting record, indicating she only voted Democrat in 2008 for “Operation Chaos.” After the vote it was announced that there was a TIE and a new vote would have to be conducted. After the second ballot it was announced that Angel Rhodes won the party’s endorsement.

I’ve heard that after the first ballot, some of Eshelman’s central committee supporters went home thinking that the vote was merely a formality and Eshelman would win. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Rhodes happens to be solidly pro-life and more conservative than Eschelman. It was wild and a case study in how to lose an endorsement despite having $25,000 and backing from GOP luminaries.

I only know the name Kathy Eschelman because she started Grade A Notes, which buys and sells notes from OSU students. It is a million dollar business she started from scratch, and it helped a few friends get through difficult classes.

With raising $24,609.31, that may be a record for a State House candidate before losing a county party’s endorsement.

But it is fantastic news to replace a pro-abortion Jo Ann Davidson-candidate with a conservative. Who knew Central Committee meetings could be so exciting?

Update at 12:30am: More background to the story. (I love hearing these types of details, so please never hesitate to send them to me.)

- Eshelman is a graduate of Jo Ann Davidson’s Political School for Women.

- Jim Hughes father, Lawrence Hughes, held that House seat for many years and Jim felt entitled to it when Dave Robinson won the appointment.

- Jim Hughes has been screwed over at least twice in his political career. First by Jo Ann Davidson and second by Doug White. Hughes won the party’s endorsement for the House seat and Jo Ann appointed David Robinson to the vacancy.

- There was a nasty primary, with the “Jo Ann machine” supporting Robinson, but Hughes won in a landslide, thus serving 8 year in the House.

- Also, When Priscilla Mead resigned from the Senate, Jim Hughes was endorsed by the party to fill the Senate seat and Doug White appointed Steve Stivers, who never even screened with the party for the endorsement. I believe that Jim and Stivers are on good terms, but it wouldn’t surprise me that Jim is still bitter with Jo Ann.

- Bill Schmidt, during his speech on Tuesday, kept mentioning “Jim Hughes” or “Jim Hughes’ team.” There is no way Jim Hughes would not allow Bill Schmidt to mention his name without approval.

- Mike Elicson and the head of Ohio Right to Life Mike Gonidakis, who were both at the meeting, left comments below.

Related posts:

  1. Franklin County GOP Central Committee Meeting Tonight
  2. Jackson County Republican Party Endorsements (Ohio House District 87 & Ohio Senate District 17)
  3. Beth Lear, a Principled Conservative, for the 2nd Ohio House District
  4. An Ornithologist for Ohio! (Ohio House- 93rd District)
  5. 56th Ohio House District- Dan Ramos Lives in Columbus

  • Mike Gonidakis
    Its GREAT that a pro-life advocate will take back this seat. Great news!!

    Mike Gonidakis
  • mikeelicson
    my recollection of the evening is that Eshelman supporters canvassed the room giving out printouts showing that Rhodes once took a Democrat primary ballot, not the other way around - maybe there were two sets of handouts.
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