CINCINNATI — Alex Triantafilou has been the face of the Hamilton County Republican Celebration for almost 15 years, however he simply received an enormous promotion.
The state GOP’s central committee selected Triantiafilou because the Ohio occasion chairman on Jan. 6, a job that he describes as a “pure development.”
Triantafilou, a former choose and legal professional, had been the county GOP chairman since 2008, the place he had the problem of attempting to win races in an city space that has trended more and more Democratic lately.
“Main the Hamilton County Republicans is known as a defensive motion, attempting to carry on to the few places of work that they held, attempting to win a judicial race right here and there, however basically getting used to being on the quick finish of each election,” mentioned David Niven, College of Cincinnati political science professor. “Now he strikes to a statewide state of affairs the place Republicans win virtually all the things. Now he actually has the keys to the political kingdom.”
Now Triantafilou will face a unique set of challenges as he tries to unite Republicans in a state that’s overwhelmingly purple. Factions of the occasion have broadly completely different views on matters resembling abortion, immigration, gun management and the position of former Pres. Donald Trump.
“It’s one of many legal guidelines of politics — there may be at all times an opposition, and usually it’s the opposite occasion. However should you get too sturdy, the opposition is inside your personal occasion” Niven mentioned. “This is without doubt one of the perils of success. They’ve received so many races and finished so nicely throughout the state that they really signify their very own worst enemy at this level.”
Triantafilou’s two-year time period as GOP chief extends by means of the 2024 election, with Ohio within the highlight for its essential U.S. Senate race. One in all his prime priorities is successful Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown’s seat.
He plans to construct a greater GOP floor sport, stress the significance of the early vote to many hesitant Republicans and encourage excessive voter turnout. However he admits his largest problem is occasion unity.
“His problem actually can be to persuade those who there’s one thing to be gained by working collectively, there’s one thing to be gained by getting most of what you need,” Niven mentioned. “The enemy of that’s individuals insisting that they get all the things that they need, and finally holding the occasion again.”
WCPO sat down with Triantafilou to listen to about his targets, priorities and challenges. The next are excerpts from that interview. Some solutions had been shortened for brevity.
Q: What does the trajectory appear like right here, for Republicans in Hamilton County, for the 2024 election?
A: Look it’s going to proceed to be onerous … Republican voters frankly are leaving for extra Republican communities. Butler, Warren, and Clermont counties have decrease property taxes, higher faculties, safer streets so individuals are typically fleeing. We all know that development exists, we’ve to fight it with a unique sort of candidate … Optimistic is a tough phrase to make use of right here, however I believe we will have some purpose for optimism if we run the proper of candidates. However we all know it’s a battle in massive cities, not simply in Cincinnati, however throughout the county.
Q: Who’re the proper of Republican candidates in Hamilton County?
A: Candidates with a message that works throughout the aisle. Issues like public security promote in each group. Issues like – the core companies that authorities delivers, whether or not it’s fixing potholes or attempting to not increase your taxes. On these points, we really feel like we’ve an excellent base of assist amongst majority of voters. If we keep on these points and keep away from a number of the extra divisive questions that come up in American politics, I believe we will do higher.
Q: You’ll be chairman throughout a vital cycle in Ohio within the 2024 election.
A: These are the … issues I ran on — to actually ensure that we maintain this state purple no matter who the presidential nominee is. We can’t take as a right the massive wins that we noticed beneath Gov. DeWine and President Trump … we will have a greater floor sport, we will be certain that our voters end up in massive numbers. Too typically in city areas, Republicans suppose their votes don’t depend as a result of they know the way Democrat their neighborhood is. … We’ve received to do a greater job within the early vote … One solely wants to have a look at a state map to see how Democrats win. They win in city environments. Your entire state is purple save for just a few blue dots right here … If we will blunt a few of that and we will actually ensure that a few of our suburban votes come again house and vote for Republicans, we expect we will defeat (Democratic Senator) Sherrod Brown.
Q: What are your challenges?
A: Celebration unity. Each events battle with maintaining all people in their very own tent. Clearly, we simply noticed what occurred within the audio system race within the U.S. Home of Representatives, that exact same concern exists in our occasion in each nook of the nation actually.
Q: How do you do this? You have got a celebration that’s in some methods cut up between individuals who like former Pres. Donald Trump and people who don’t like him.
A: To start with, I’ll say that Democrats have an identical cut up that I believe will get much less protection. You have got lots of people who broke with Joe Biden in his personal camp … it’s highlighted extra on our facet. There’s a few issues that unite us. Defeating Joe Biden unites us. Delivering a Republican U.S. Senate unites us.
Q: How do you deal with controversial topics (like abortion and gun management) with individuals in your occasion who’ve such completely different views?
A: It begins with persistence. My private fashion is to be slightly extra affable round these questions fairly than purchase into the angst. You already know Paula actually on the finish of the day we’ve an excellent sincere debate in the US and if by means of that debate comes higher coverage, that’s the approach I believe it’s imagined to work – and it ought to work.
Q: Are there sure areas of the state the place you can be spending extra time?
A: Sure. Northwest Ohio is an space that’s very Republican-rich and an space that has actually come over to the Republican Celebration within the final 10 years. I actually wish to ensure that we’re persevering with to end up our voters there. After which the Northeastern a part of the state proper alongside the Pennsylvania border, the Youngstown space … that’s one other space that’s pretty Republican-rich so we’re already – two days into the job — we’re already planning plenty of journey in these areas to attach with the county chairs, join with our native officers there, and to end up the utmost variety of votes in these locations.
Q: These are former union areas, historically blue-collar Democratic voters.
A: That’s proper. This can be a message that I don’t suppose has correctly been informed … Paula, I grew up in a union family. My father was a 46-year member of the United Auto Staff Union. I do know what union households take care of and the Democratic Celebration has deserted working households a very long time in the past with larger taxes and strolling away from points like public security and forcing all types of social change on us. In order Republicans, we’ve received that vote and we have to maintain it no matter who the presidential nominee is. Donald Trump, in his personal approach, regardless of a number of the different noise round him and a few of his campaigns and his candidacy, did a wonderful job of speaking to working individuals … there are messages there we will construct on and work to actually be certain that we maintain these individuals within the Republican camp.
Q: What do you consider the media, do you suppose we’re “pretend information?”
A: I don’t. I’ve labored constructively with the media. However Paula I do have issues concerning the media, and I’ve been public about it. I believe there must be a redoubling of the media’s efforts to be truthful and unbiased … I believe it’s occurred frankly in my lifetime, that I’ve seen individuals’s belief within the press deteriorate and I believe that there’s room to repair it within the mainstream press so individuals in my camp really feel like they get a extra truthful shake.
Q: What are your predictions for 2024?
A: Nah, I don’t do this.
Q: Okay what are your hopes for 2024?
A: My hopes clearly are for Republican victories in these two key areas — the presidential race, that we maintain this state good and purple. The deeper purple, the extra it helps our down-ticket races as nicely. And beating Senator Brown with a good-quality Republican candidate is on the prime of the record.
I wish to do different issues as state chairman. I don’t need lonely victories on the prime, I would like individuals to win all the best way down the ticket. I believe we’ve the flexibility frankly to defeat any individual like (newly elected Congressman) Greg Landsman. And that can be one in every of our focuses as a result of we’ve received a few seats that I believe we might have received this cycle, that we will win sooner or later.
Q: What’s your recommendation for having a civil political dialog with any individual of the opposing occasion?
A: It begins with mutual respect. Respect that the opposite individual shouldn’t be the extremist that they’ve been characterised to be by loads of the speaking heads. It begins with the concept a wholesome debate between the events ought to lead us to a greater place and hone your message even higher.
One of many causes I received alongside nicely with (former Hamilton County Democratic Celebration) Chairman (Tim) Burke was I needed to be on my A sport with him. He was a really clever, achieved native legal professional. We had been each attorneys so perhaps that helped some. We knew the best way to have the combat after which chat afterward. It begins with mutual respect and the concept all of us love the nation, we simply wish to advance it otherwise … and I believe it helps to have a wholesome humorousness.
Notice: The Hamilton County Republican Celebration is anticipated to vote on Triantafilou’s successor someday subsequent month.