On Tuesday, Ohio businessman Ted Stevenot will announce he would challenge Gov. John Kasich in May’s Republican primary. Stevenot is, by his own admission, a relative newcomer to state politics and has not run for a major office before. His main credential prior to entering the race was his 10-month stint as president of the Ohio Liberty Coalition, a statewide network of tea party groups. The OLC’s agenda tracks closely with similar tea party groups in other states: It opposes the Common Core natural curriculum standard, it worries that the state’s elected Republicans are too soft on President Obama, and it likes guns.
But the group has a habit of expressing its views in inflammatory ways. A photo posted to its Facebook page (see above) last January, shortly before Stevenot took over, compares Obama to a collection of notorious dictators, including Fidel Castro, Joseph Stalin, and Adolf Hitler, because of their shared habit of occasionally appearing in photos with children. Another image recommends using assault rifles against “the people who try to take them away”—in this case, the federal government:
And here’s the president of the United States, after being punched in the face:
Stevenot has accused Kasich of being too close to Obama, because the governor used federal funding to expand the state’s Medicaid program. He’s not leaving himself open to a similar charge.
Update: Stevenot has dropped out of the race, leaving Ohio tea partiers without a candidate.