Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Blackwell Picks Raga for Lt. Governor

On 02/05, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell made his choice official with the selection of St. Rep. Tom Raga (R-Mason) as his running mate for Lt. Governor. Raga is a three-term state representative in a solidly Republican district, where he did not even receive major party opposition in the general election of 2004. He also currently serves as vice chairman of the Ohio House Finance and Appropriations Committee. Raga hails from a region of the state (solidly GOP Cincinnati suburbs) that should already expect to heavily favor Blackwell in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

Analysis: I have said this before in posts made here last month and I will say it yet again: Tom Raga is a poor choice by the Blackwell campaign for governor. He does not bring any strategic, geographic advantage to the campaign at all, whether in the Republican primary or general election. As a former Cincinnati politician with much name recoginiton, Blackwell should fully expect to carry Mason (about 20 miles from downtown Cincinnati) in either the primary or general election. If he is having trouble accomplishing that easy feat, perhaps his campaign is in more trouble than anyone currently realizes. Some spin doctors in the Columbus Dispatch article tried to make it seem that Raga is some sort of "rising star" in the Ohio GOP, and while we could debate the actual definition of "rising star" for hours, the point remains is that he is not a "risin star" specifically for Blackwell and brings nothing to the table for him. Politically and ideologicall, Raga also has no advantage for the Blackwell camp. Raga is a solid conservative who is currently heavily invested in budget and state spending debates in Columbus. Many of the question marks surrounding the Blackwell campaign have been concerning his rigid conservative ideology. Blackwell should have selected a moderate yet respected Republican Ohio politician who would help to balance his overt conservative ideology, without doing this, the selection of Raga is entirely underwhelming and constrats significantly with Petro's pick of Padgett, who can bring an obvious geographic advantage in southeastern Ohio against Ted Strickland in the general election, not to mention a little gender diversity that plays well with Ohio voters (re: Nancy Hollister, Maureen O'Connor, and Jeanette Bradley).


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