Most of you have heard of “gerrymandering” and how it has been applied by the parties to carve out “safe” political districts. These are the districts about which it is said, “You could run an orange juice can here and as long as it has an R or D next to its name, it will win”. Some now calculate that over 80% of Congressional Districts are considered to be one party dominated. Similar protectionist tactics have spilled over into the boundary lines drawn for statehouse races.

Consider, for example, Ohio State Representative Ron Amstutz (R) from Ohio’s 1st House District in Wayne County Ohio. Now, before I give you this example, let me state clearly,

I am making no assertion about the quality of this individual as a representative. In fact, he may prove to be a great hero who saves us from this latest usurpation via the Medicaid expansion proposed by Governor Kasich. Or, maybe not. Only time will tell.

Representative Amstutz is the Chairman of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee (i.e. the committee responsible for advancing the governor’s proposed budget). Ohio’s 1st representative district is a decidedly protected political district. Consider:

  • Representative Amstutz won his election in November 2012 with 65.89% of the vote (i.e. 32,110 votes).
  • His opponent in the general election, John Maglio took 34.11% of the vote (i.e. 16,626 votes).
  • The total ballots cast for the two candidates equaled 48,736 votes.

But was such a lopsided race really as big as nearly 50,000 votes? Absolutely not.

In the March 2012 primary, Representative Amstutz ran unopposed as a Republican. He won the primary with a total of 13,261 votes. In this heavily protected district, a Republican victory on the general ballot after the primary is all but certain.

  • This race is really determined in the primary. A challenger could have won in the primary with a mere 6,631 votes – here equal to about 14% of the votes cast in the general election.
  • In Wayne County where Representative Amstutz’s district is from, there were 7,676 signatures collected by the Ohio Project to put Healthcare Freedom on the ballot.
  • Further, Wayne County passed the Healthcare Freedom Amendment with 69.3% of the vote.

Turning out so few votes in such a small geographic area is well within the performance envelope of most liberty groups. A team of 20 – 30 dedicated volunteers willing to go door-to-door with a decent message and a viable candidate could easily accomplish such a feat. After winning the primary in such a heavily protected district, victory in the general election would be all but certain.

So what’s the conclusion? You are more powerful than you know. Politically motivated redistricting has provided the unintended consequence of opening huge opportunities for liberty-minded candidates to advance. Of course, find the best qualified possible candidate to run. There is no point in keeping this strategy secret because there is little if anything the establishment can do to un-ring this bell. Even if they could, it would only lead to more competitive districts which would be better for the citizens anyway.

Conventional wisdom says that because we couldn’t muster enough votes to win the cult of personality, rock-star Presidential election that somehow our movement is dead. Not hardly. The grassroots movement in Ohio is now stronger, more experienced, and more effective than it has ever been. We have all the ingredients we need to protect liberty here in our state.

Respectfully request that your representative not only vote “NO” on any proposed expansion of Medicaid, but that he or she actually be vocal in opposing this issue. Volunteers collected over 440,000 signatures for the Healthcare Freedom Amendment and it passed in all 88 counties with a total of 65.63% of the vote (Heck, that’s 66,000 signatures more than the number of votes needed to win a Republican gubernatorial primary). Visit your county board of elections’ website and run the numbers. Especially if you live in a “safe district”, assess your strength and be prepared to help save our state.

Oh yes, and be sure to call your state rep today – absolutely, positively, NO expansion of Medicaid in Ohio.

Find your representative at this link:

Yours in Liberty,


Ted Stevenot
Ohio Liberty Coalition

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution