By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer
HAMILTON - Ohio Treasurer Joe Deters is urging the Butler County Republican Party to avoid a divisive primary election next year between Mike Fox and Greg Jolivette for a county commissioner's seat.
County GOP leaders, upset with Fox's refusal to end his public criticism of other Republican office-holders, are supporting Ohio House Rep. Greg Jolivette's bid to unseat Fox, a commissioner for six years. Many observers expect the political battle to become nasty.
Deters, a Butler County resident, said in a recent letter to Joe Schwartz, county GOP chairman, that he is "deeply concerned" about the potential harm the Fox-Jolivette primary could do to the party.
"From my experience, I can tell you that as long as this fight continues, it will only get worse," Deters writes. "The more elected officials that are drawn into the fray, the more attention we pay to fighting amongst ourselves, and the more money we siphon from furthering the Republican cause, the more we expose ourselves to letting our opposition organize and take advantage of our infighting."
Deters recalled how state and local GOP officials - including Schwarz - had encouraged him and Jim Petro not to run against each other for the Ohio attorney general's position in the 2002 primary. Deters agreed to drop out of the attorney general's race and run for re-election as state treasurer. Petro, who promised Deters he would support his bid for attorney general in 2006, ran for attorney general and won.
Deters said Butler Republicans should use that as a model for resolving the dispute over Fox and Jolivette and offered to help in any way he can.
"I feel strongly that our party would be better served if we found a way to settle our differences among ourselves and let cooler heads prevail," he said.
Schwarz said he appreciates Deters' concern. In response, he has invited Fox, Jolivette, Deters and several other party officials to meet on Friday afternoon at GOP headquarters in Fairfield to see if differences can be resolved.
"I don't know there is any common ground," Schwarz said. "But if there is, we will certainly seek it."
Abuse suit now a class action
Zimpher gets busy on Day 1
Student sampling on new boss sketchy
Crime on rise in suburbs
Young voters missing at polls
IN THE TRISTATE
Character sign: helping a friend
Project to cut off businesses
19 from Greater Cincinnati are Achievement semifinalists
Cancer team seeks funding
Reeve tells of hope for cures
Cranley seeks I-71 exit near hospitals
Monitor says police reform is slow
MSD to pay to fix sewer backups
Pulfer: A new history of women begins on the west side
Howard: Good Things Happening
BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Jury decides on death penalty for man who killed his wife
Hamilton readies for assault of this winter
Deters advises Butler Co.
Miami U. to keep all benefits for striking workers
Visit Scotland with a trip to Middletown
Mason's pancake day will be Nov. 8
Condos argued in Price Hill
Student killed; school shocked
Stanley Kreimer active in politics
Henry Stark, 104, was in union for 87 years
Irate farmer wants crop circle culprits to pay
Two firefighters killed in New Knoxville
No charges to be filed in landlord voyeurism case
Lawmaker proposes overhaul of state retirement fund boards
There's plenty of Ohio in D.C.
Universities, public schools start mutual campaign for money
Ky. state senator says: 'I'm gay'
Poll finds majority would allow smoking in bars
Survey: Gamblers ramble in region
Talks to regulate tobacco industry break down along partisan lines
Holmes teacher's death serves as warning for all
Museum Center shows Lewis and Clark letters
West Nile death confirmed
Truck driver dies after going off I-71