Over the past few days I've seen and heard about some conservatives upset with Dave Yost switching from the AG race to the auditor's race. They are questioning his principles and saying he is unwilling to stand up to the "establishment".
I say he's smart. And principled.
Yost currently serves as Delaware County Prosecutor. Previously, he served as County Auditor. If Dave felt he could contribute to Ohio's greater good at the state level, he could choose between running for AG or State Auditor. Well, at the time of the decision making process, Mary Taylor was planning on running for Auditor and the AG race was wide open. Logically speaking, running for AG was the obvious decision.
Unfortunately for Yost, when he made his decision to run for AG, he didn't have the benefit of having full knowedge of the effect rumors and ultimately the entry of Mike DeWine into the AG race would have upon his own candidacy.
Well, as we all know, from a fundraising perspective, the effect has been devastating. Mike DeWine was able to use his 30 years of relationship building to dominate fundraising and zero out Yost's ability to raise any significant funds, even among his own supporters.
Now, conservatives like to be mad at Mike DeWine, but his politics aside, you can't blame a guy for wanting to make a comeback.
Now, with his cash-on-hand at virtually zero, Yost faced the same challenge Jennifer Brunner currently faces, but without her name ID. Without cash, he had to go up against someone who has repeatedly won statewide. Yes, he lost last time, but that doesn't lessen his name ID. Some conservatives like to think the perceived backlash against DeWine would be enough to force a Yost victory. Unfortunately, that universe only exists for those wrapped inside the political bubble - where politics is something we obsess over day in and day out. The reality is this - DeWine was going to win. He had far superior name ID and Yost didn't have the money to enhance his own ID or highlight his record versus that of Mike DeWine. Additionally, DeWine did have the money to ensure his victory. In other words, Yost didn't stand a chance.
So in facing this political reality, Yost could either stick it out in a race he was virtually assured of losing, or move over to a now open auditor's race - a race in which his resume is perfectly suited. But this time with major contributors committed to backing him.
Yost's decision isn't about giving in to Chairman DeWine or surrendering his principles. It's smart. Plain and simple.
Yost believes he can help the state of Ohio. He can't do that from ending up 2nd place in the AG race.