op-ed

Calling On The GOP: Be The Party Of Character

Matthew Borges Chair of the Ohio Republican Party from 2013-2017
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Following the 2016 elections, the GOP was in as strong a position as it could be to advance the conservative cause. As we approach the 2018 midterm elections, storm clouds are gathering on the horizon. It’s still unclear if this will bring a flood, or if it will be a passing storm. Yet one thing is abundantly clear: many of the problems that have led us to this point are of our own making.

One of those challenges is Republican candidates and nominees facing serious allegations of sexual misconduct; some of it at work and many of those allegations involving employees or subordinates.

Selecting Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race cost us a seat in the U.S. Senate, which pushed us closer to losing the majority. It also fired up our opponents and hurt the GOP brand nationally. All of this happened because we advanced the candidacy of someone whose integrity we couldn’t be proud of. Shame on us.

The tough lessons of the Roy Moore fiasco have to go beyond the political ramifications, but that’s a good place to start. Republicans simply can’t continue to nominate candidates who further the narrative that we’ve become the kind of party that would shrug off the behavior of a Bill Clinton, say, or Anthony Weiner.

And as the political environment only seems to worsen on that front, the margin for error for 2018 candidates only gets slimmer. Selecting the right candidate is of utmost importance, not just to ensure we win an election, but to give us the chance to continue the positive change that Republican leadership has made for our economy, our safety, and our everyday lives.

So, when we read in the liberal Huffington Post about a Republican candidate for Governor in the key state of Georgia being accused of numerous extra marital affairs, while a candidate for Lt. Governor in Georgia is alleged to have retaliated against a lobbyist who rebuffed his sexual advances, we have to hope for reasons of politics and conscience that the GOP selects different candidates for November.

If the roles were reversed, we use this dynamic against the Democrats, for good reason. We need people of honor to serve the public honorably. High public office is a high public trust. To some of us, these things remain true regardless of what party the candidates belong to.

The party out-of-power traditionally performs well in off-year elections. Think of 1994, 2006, 2010, and 2014. That means history is on the Democrats’ side. And so are numerous polls – Democrats have maintained a consistent generic ballot lead in virtually every public congressional poll (though margins have narrowed lately).

Democrats have built momentum with special election victories in Alabama and Pennsylvania. And, as always, the mainstream media is fixated on thwarting the GOP’s agenda and helping the Left. We don’t need to do them any more favors.

I’ve dedicated most of my adult life to electing Republicans to public office, because it’s what I truly believe is right for our communities and our country. We worked for decades to win everything in sight to get us to the point where we are now. And I will continue to do so.

Today my advice to Republicans is: Be careful who you nominate.  We must be a Party of character if we expect to keep the voters’ trust in 2018.

Matt Borges served as Chair of the Ohio Republican Party from 2013-2017.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.