Only 11 of the committee’s 66 seats were uncontested. The state party made extra efforts to secure victories for incumbents in 10 or 12 races, said Warner. Those incumbents included the party’s most senior committee member, Patrick Flanagan, a Dayton attorney and former Montgomery County GOP chairman who was challenged by Ben Jones of Butler Twp.
Jones lost, as did his wife, Christy Jones, who ran against incumbent Judy Westbrock of Centerville.
Earlier this year Ben Jones made news when he posted comments suggesting that President Barack Obama’s testicles be cut off. After first saying Obama was his target, Ben Jones later said he was directing the comment at the U.S. defense secretary, not the president. The Joneses could not be reached for comment.
The state party also opposed an effort by Springboro Tea Party founder Brian “Sonny” Thomas of Warren County to unseat former congressman Bob McEwen on the committee. Thomas lost.
Another incumbent committee member and former congressman, Steve Austria of Beavercreek, was endorsed by the state party and successfully fought off a challenge from David Rich.
Kelly Kohls, a former Springboro school board member who failed to unseat former state representative Michelle Schneider in Warren County, said the insurgents’ effort was not a total loss because it put party leaders on notice.
“We are watching,” said Kohls. “I’m not willing to say that we did anything wrong. I’m willing to say we accomplished about half of our goal and we are going to continue to the same goal.
“What we want is to bring the Republican Party back to its platform,” she said. “We want the Republican Party to follow its own bylaws.”