On Wednesday evening, the executive committee of the Lucas County Republican party recommended the appointment of Ben Roberts and Kelly Bensman to the Lucas County Board of Elections.
The vote was 50-0.
The same pair was recommended in a 65-0 vote last month, but their nominations were rejected by Ohio Secretary of State John Husted.
Lucas County GOP chairman Jon Stainbrook, in what is a clear break from his fellow Republican, sharply criticized Husted. "These people are qualified, professional people and there was no reason for the Secretary of State to demean them or slander them," Mr. Stainbrook said.
Ron Johns, who was a candidate for the Lucas County GOP Central Committe earlier this spring, said Bensman and Roberts should not have been put forward. "These are literally the least qualified people in all of Toledo that could be on the Board of Elections," Mr. Johns said.
Johns didn't produce any evidence to substantiate that accusation.
Stainbrook takes issue with Husted's assertion that Bensman and Roberts have contributed to the dysfunction on the board in recent years.
The county chairman's remarks to NBC 24 are by far his sharpest ever on record against Husted. "John Husted is the chief election officer of the state of Ohio and it is his job to manage the county boards of elections; he's saying this is somebody else's fault and everybody else should take responsibility but the blame lies with John Husted and his office and his inept employees," Mr. Stainbrook said.
Lawyers for the Lucas County GOP plan to file motions in the Ohio Supreme Court next week requesting that Husted accept the recommendations of Kelly Bensman and Ben Roberts for the Lucas County Board of Elections.