The 2019 Henry County Republican Fall Dinner took place Sunday at the Napoleon V.F.W., featuring Robert Paduchik as its guest speaker.
Paduchik served as the Ohio state director for the Trump/Pence presidential election campaign in 2016. In speaking with the Northwest Signal prior to the event, Paduchik said he has since served as the co-chairman of the National Republican Committee and is now a senior advisor of the president’s re-election campaign.
“I handle for the campaign, the labor union and police and firefighters outreach, so those are two coalitions I advise and consult on and am actively engaged in our turnout efforts,” he said. “I’m always going to be responsible for Ohio. We were in (Wapakoneta) when the president was out here a few weeks ago. When he wants to know what’s going on in the state, what’s happening, if something’s wrong, he’s going to call me.”
Paduchik said Steve Buckingham is now the state director for Ohio, and Clayton Henson is working on the campaign as a regional director for the region that includes the state of Ohio.
With Paduchik’s shift in positions, he said, much like himself, the campaigning never truly ended following Trump’s election in 2016.
“What’s interesting about this, is this is the earliest that any re-election campaign has gotten started,” he said. “I was involved in the Bush/Cheney campaign in 2004, and we started bringing staff on board (that) January. We’ve had staff on the ground and in place in Ohio (for 2020), in June 2019 — at least a full seven months ahead of schedule.
“The focus is, this campaign has never really stopped,” Paduchik said. “The campaign operations continue to raise money and we’re working on our list building and data operations and things that have been priorities for the campaign ever since. I think a lot has to do with the nature of how politics has been since President Trump was elected in 2016.”
Paduchik said locations such as Henry County are very vital to campaigns in the swing state of Ohio. He said northwest Ohio is of big interest with its manufacturing and Interstate Route 75 corridor, and its rural communities can make up for any losses a political entity sees in Ohio’s metropolitan areas.
“One of the reasons I’m here is the I-75 corridor, western part of the state, is so critical to us for winning statewide elections,” he said. “I think our voter turnout here was 75% in Henry County — President Trump took 65% of the vote. It’s those kind of margins — a 2:1 margin — in counties like this that help offset the gains the Democrats will have in the more urban counties. President Trump won 80 of 88 counties in 2016. So, one of the things that gave us the margin we had, almost a half a million votes, were the smaller counties, rural counties like Henry, up and down the I-75 corridor.
“It’s a key area for us, so we have a focus on it,” Paduchik said. “We have staff in the Toledo area that covers northwest Ohio, and one of the reasons I’m here tonight is that it is a priority for us.”
The Henry County Board of Elections reported a voter turnout of 13,956 ballots in its unofficial results, which amounted to 72.25% of its eligible 19,315 ballots. The total at that time did not factor in 124 outstanding absentee ballots and 289 outstanding provisional ballots as reported by the Ohio Secretary of State. The statewide voter turnout at that time was reported at 69.32%. Henry County’s summary from the board of elections showed 66.19% of local voters cast their ballot in support of Trump.
Paduchik said he planned to speak about “promises” at the Henry County Republican Fall Dinner.
“(President Trump) talked about putting the American economy first, taking care of American working men and women,” Paduchik said. “He started with regulatory reform, tax cuts, and renegotiating the trade deals. We’ve seen record levels of low levels of unemployment like we haven’t seen in 50, 60 years. In some instances, like African-American and Hispanic unemployment, ever since they’ve been keeping records, this is the lowest it’s ever been. We’ve seen wages go up incredibly, so you see an economy that, while there is stagnation across the planet, we’re seeing an American economy that’s booming and outperforming expectations.”
Paduchik added Trump has made judicial appointments that haven’t garnered a lot of attention over his U.S. Supreme Court selections.
“There were a lot of people who said, what kind of conservative is Donald Trump going to be as president when it comes to appointing judges?” Paduchik said. “The president has two Supreme Court appointments, over 200 judges appointed to the judiciary, and that’s had an impact. Most people focus on Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Gorsuch, but, to me, the real benefit has been the president’s appointment of 43 appellate court judges.
“The appellate court — 90% of the decisions done at the district level go on appeal, and only 7% of them go on to the Supreme Court,” Paduchik explained. “So most of the decisions are getting made at the appellate level. Forty-three is roughly 25% of the 179 members of the appellate court. So, when you think about that, President Trump has made a generational change in just the first 2 1/2-3 years of his presidency. And that matters to people, particularly here in northwest Ohio.”
As Paduchik said, the re-election process is already gaining steam even though it isn’t yet 2020. He said, despite all of the preparation and momentum, there are still challenges awaiting the re-election campaign.
“In this election, one of the challenges we face is a Democrat party that hates this president more than they love this country,” he said. “Since the day he was elected, they funded recounts paid for for the Green Party to conduct, they tried to hijack the electoral college by sending letters to electors, they had the resistance movement, they had the Russia hoax, in between that there was the Kavanaugh political assassination attempt, and from there it has been obstruction, the Ukraine hoax now, and now we’re in this sort of weird ‘impeachment, but not impeachment situation.’ The American voters gave Democrats a chance to govern in the House of Representatives, and since that time, they’ve done nothing. They’ve done nothing but try to attack this president every way they can.
“I think there’s a stark contrast there,” Paduchik continued. “We’ve got a president who said, ‘I’m going to do these things,’ and he has done those things, and that, in and of itself is refreshing to people. The difference is, there has been a tremendous amount of success from his economic policies. For a lot of people who have worked in factories and manufacturing, seeing a president that squares off with China, that takes on China in a way no other American president has, is refreshing. So, I think we’re going into the 2020 re-election effort with a huge advantage, and we look to folks out here to help us win the votes it’s going to take to get him another four years.”