Longtime Republican Chair Bob Bennett, 75, Led Party for 20 Years

Bob Bennett, 75, headed the Ohio GOP twice. The first time was a 20 year term starting in 1988, in which he logged more wins than any political party chairman in Ohio history. He took over the party again briefly starting in 2012 after the ouster of Kevin DeWine by supporters of Gov. John Kasich.

“I can assure you that I’m not beginning a career as a long-time chairman of the party," Bennet said at the time.

But Bennett suffered with respiratory problems, and left the GOP chairmanship last year. Bennett’s replacement Matt Borges described him as a legend, and Kasich called him “a giant of Ohio and national politics.”

Even Ohio Democratic Party chairman Chris Redfern lauded Bennett for building what he called “an impressive and competitive Party structure.”

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