Like I stated last week, all are strong candidates. But there are two overriding factors that Ohio Republicans must consider when deciding who to support in this race:
1) Who has the best chance to win in November?
2) Which nominee would enable the ORP to focus the least amount of manpower and cash in order to assure victory? (this is important because those resources are best served focusing on the Kasich/Portman races as well as any lower tier House/Senate races in highly competitive districts)
As I stated last week, I believe Dave Yost to be the best option to serve as the Party's nominee.
He's a conservative with a fantastic resume that's perfectly suited for a race like this. While he hasn't had much success in the fundraising department thanks to DeWine's powerhouse presence in the AG race, Yost has been working and developing the relationships necessary where money would flow in quick and fast if he moved over to the Auditor's gig. Additionally, he's the only one of these three that has already developed a statewide network of GOP activists working to promote his candidacy. In other words, switching to the Auditor's race wouldn't need near the start-up time that Morgan and Montgomery would require.
I talked to someone very close to the Dave Yost camp in an attempt to answer a couple important political questions about the race. First, how has the grassroots leadership committed to supporting your AG race reacted to the possible switch? Second, how has the network of contributors responded?
Most of the leaders in Yost's organization have understood the difficulty of this situation and pledged to back his decision, no matter what is decided or whether he chooses for whichever race they are promoting. That advice has been pretty evenly split between go and stay. Nobody has abandoned ship.Ultimately, the question is whether Seth Morgan sees the writing on the wall or not. While it's understandable that he wants to take advantage of the political climate, it's clear that Yost is the superior candidate. 1) He has served as County Auditor; 2) He will maintain his grassroots organization that he built over the past several months during his run for AG; and 3) With previous relationships already established and ORP backing, Yost will have fundraising superiority.The contributor base has encouraged Yost to run for Auditor. The ORP has helped in that regard. There is some grousing about money already raised for this race that Taylor took with her... but they're going to help.
While Seth has his CPA license, there isn't much else going for him in the primary. And like Yost experienced vs. Mike DeWine, he won't raise the money necessary to make his case. He's young and very talented - and losing a primary right now would only damage his potential as a great member of the Ohio Republican farm team. Your time will come, Seth. It's just not now.
The fact is this - Yost as our nominee for Auditor will enable the ORP to focus more manpower and resources on Kasich, Portman, and other conservatives in competitive legislative districts.
Yost for Ohio Auditor helps elect conservatives.