CINCINNATI — Alex Triantafilou has been the face of the Hamilton County Republican Celebration for almost 15 years, however he simply obtained an enormous promotion.
The state GOP’s central committee selected Triantiafilou because the Ohio get together chairman on Jan. 6, a job that he describes as a “pure development.”
Triantafilou, a former decide and lawyer, 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 can be a defensive motion, attempting to carry on to the few workplaces 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,” stated David Niven, College of Cincinnati political science professor. “Now he strikes to a statewide state of affairs the place Republicans win virtually every part. 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 crimson. Factions of the get together have broadly completely different views on matters akin to abortion, immigration, gun management and the position of former Pres. Donald Trump.
“It’s one of many legal guidelines of politics — there may be all the time an opposition, and usually it’s the opposite get together. However when you get too robust, the opposition is inside your individual get together” Niven stated. “This is without doubt one of the perils of success. They’ve received so many races and accomplished so properly throughout the state that they really symbolize their very own worst enemy at this level.”
Triantafilou’s two-year time period as GOP chief extends by the 2024 election, with Ohio within the highlight for its necessary U.S. Senate race. Certainly one of his prime priorities is profitable Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown’s seat.
He plans to construct a greater GOP floor recreation, stress the significance of the early vote to many hesitant Republicans and encourage excessive voter turnout. However he admits his largest problem is get together unity.
“His problem actually will likely be to persuade folks that 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 stated. “The enemy of that’s individuals insisting that they get every part that they need, and finally holding the get together again.”
WCPO sat down with Triantafilou to listen to about his objectives, priorities and challenges. The next are excerpts from that interview. Some solutions have 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 exhausting … 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 have now to fight it with a unique sort of candidate … Optimistic is a tough phrase to make use of right here, however I feel we will have some cause for optimism if we run the proper of candidates. However we all know it’s a battle in huge 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 neighborhood. Issues like – the core companies that authorities delivers, whether or not it’s fixing potholes or attempting to not elevate your taxes. On these points, we really feel like we have now a superb base of assist amongst majority of voters. If we keep on these points and keep away from a few of the extra divisive questions that come up in American politics, I feel we will do higher.
Q: You will be chairman throughout an important cycle in Ohio within the 2024 election.
A: These are the … issues I ran on — to actually be sure that we preserve this state crimson no matter who the presidential nominee is. We can not take without any consideration the large wins that we noticed underneath Gov. DeWine and President Trump … we will have a greater floor recreation, we will be sure that our voters end up in huge numbers. Too usually in city areas, Republicans suppose their votes don’t depend as a result of they know the way Democrat their neighborhood is. … We’ve obtained 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 complete state is crimson save for a number of blue dots right here … If we will blunt a few of that and we will actually be sure that a few of our suburban votes come again house and vote for Republicans, we predict we will defeat (Democratic Senator) Sherrod Brown.
Q: What are your challenges?
A: Celebration unity. Each events battle with retaining everyone 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 subject exists in our get together in each nook of the nation actually.
Q: How do you try this? You might have 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: Initially, I’ll say that Democrats have an analogous cut up that I feel will get much less protection. You might have 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 sort out controversial topics (like abortion and gun management) with individuals in your get together who’ve such completely different views?
A: It begins with persistence. My private type is to be slightly extra affable round these questions relatively than purchase into the angst. You recognize Paula actually on the finish of the day we have now a superb sincere debate in the US and if by that debate comes higher coverage, that’s the manner I feel 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 be sure 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 numerous 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 Employees Union. I do know what union households cope with and the Democratic Celebration has deserted working households a very long time in the past with increased taxes and strolling away from points like public security and forcing every kind of social change on us. In order Republicans, we have now received that vote and we have to maintain it no matter who the presidential nominee is. Donald Trump, in his personal manner, regardless of a few of the different noise round him and a few of his campaigns and his candidacy, did a superb job of speaking to working individuals … there are messages there we will construct on and work to actually be sure that we preserve these individuals within the Republican camp.
Q: What do you consider the media, do you suppose we’re “faux information?”
A: I don’t. I’ve labored constructively with the media. However Paula I do have considerations in regards to the media, and I’ve been public about it. I feel there must be a redoubling of the media’s efforts to be truthful and unbiased … I feel it’s occurred frankly in my lifetime, that I’ve seen individuals’s belief within the press deteriorate and I feel 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 try 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 preserve this state good and crimson. The deeper crimson, the extra it helps our down-ticket races as properly. 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 way in which down the ticket. I feel we have now the flexibility frankly to defeat anyone like (newly elected Congressman) Greg Landsman. And that will likely be certainly one of our focuses as a result of we’ve obtained a few seats that I feel we may have received this cycle, that we will win sooner or later.
Q: What’s your recommendation for having a civil political dialog with anyone of the opposing get together?
A: It begins with mutual respect. Respect that the opposite particular person shouldn’t be the extremist that they’ve been characterised to be by numerous the speaking heads. It begins with the concept that 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 obtained alongside properly with (former Hamilton County Democratic Celebration) Chairman (Tim) Burke was I needed to be on my A recreation with him. He was a really clever, completed native lawyer. We have been each attorneys so possibly that helped some. We knew have the struggle after which chat afterward. It begins with mutual respect and the concept that all of us love the nation, we simply wish to advance it differently … and I feel it helps to have a wholesome humorousness.
Observe: The Hamilton County Republican Celebration is anticipated to vote on Triantafilou’s successor someday subsequent month.