Complaint filed over ‘wife swap’

Wife’s candidacy is a ruse, Clyde resident says
Tom Jackson
Feb 26, 2014


State Rep. Rex Damschroder’s plan to seek re-election by running his wife, Rhonda, as a “placeholder” candidate hit a snag Tuesday.

A protest filed with the Sandusky County Board of Elections cotends her candidacy should be tossed out. The election board has scheduled a hearing for 3:30 p.m. March 5 at the election board office to consider the protest.

Clyde resident John Brewer, 63, the retired editor of the “Clyde Enterprise,” filed the protest Tuesday morning.    Brewer contends Mrs. Damschroder’s declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate is a “false petition” and possibly fraudulent because she has no intention of running for office, but intends to resign if she wins the GOP primary. That would allow Republican officials to appoint Rep. Damschroder as a replacement candidate.

Rhonda Damschroder faces two other Republican write-in candidates for the House District 88 race, which will pick a lawmaker to represent Sandusky County and part of Seneca County. The other Republican hopefuls are Richard Geyer and William Reineke Jr. A Democratic write-in candidate, William “Bill” Young, also has filed.

Election board members who are scheduled to meet to consider the protest are Christopher Knight, Justin Smith, Sandra Wise and Thomas Younker.

Younker, the chairman, is a Democrat. Wise also is a Democrat, while Knight and Smith are Republicans.

Smith is the chairman of the Sandusky County Republican Party and would be asked to appoint Rep. Damschroder as the candidate if Mrs. Damschroder stepped down as a candidate. Brewer said Smith already has said he supports that plan and should recuse himself from the hearing.

Smith couldn’t be reached by telephone — his voicemail message said his mailbox was full — but in a text message Smith said he expects to take part in next week’s hearing.

“I really have nothing to say. I’m going to do my job as a board of elections member” he wrote.

Rep. Damschroder and his wife did not immediately return calls to the lawmaker’s cell phone and office for comment.

Brewer said if Rhonda Damschroder did resign as a candidate, the Republican Party would be required to consider other candidates besides Rep. Damschroder.

“The party must advertise the position,” he said.

At next week’s meeting, Brewer will get the chance to present his complaint to the board, and Rhonda Damschroder will have the chance to make her case, said assistant prosecutor Norma Solze. Each side can bring a lawyer, if it wants, he said.

“Our role is strictly to advise the board of elections” he said.



Good job Mr. Brewer. This is an example of a citizen availing themselves of the right to petition for redress of grievances under the First Amendment to file a Complaint. Citizens could do the same thing concerning Rickey Vitte Jr. in a Sandusky County or Fremont Municipal Court with jurisdiction over he alleged crimes.


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I strongly disagree with you. Rex Damschroeder and his wife are not above the law and do not have some hereditary right to political office. Lying and misrepresentation on elections forms ought to be dealt with severely.

John Harville

Just won't give it up will you Kyle?
I think it's time you prove your statements.... realizing it is 'against the rules' (though no one enforces them) to give out private information.


John Brewer is a very interesting man....a.k.a. A little weird. But he is right on with this, I would have to follow the rules, they should too.
On a different note, Bill Young is a very intelligent man, and we would be lucky to have him making decisions for our state. I hope he becomes president some day!


I to have heard about John Brewer. I have heard he is very short tempered. He always tries to put up a good argument but always comes up short. I personally do not think what the Damschroders are doing is wrong at all. It takes place all over the state.


Well I think we should forgive Mr. Harville-Brewer his shortcomings.

The Rudy

This's whole thing isn't passing the smell test.


Yep, Rudy, a politician being upfront, open and honest about his intentions. Something definitely does not seem right here.


If this was a Democrat nary a word would be said.

Peninsula Pundit

How's that?
Would you guys throw your computers against the wall in a fit of pique?
That's the only way I can imagine that would cause your ilk to fall mute!


Justin Smith is quite an interesting fellow.
I highly recommend that anyone, especially Matt Westerhold, take the time to seek him out, meet him and ask some questions. Such an encounter will rock your world and reveal to you the true face of the republican party in Sandusky county.


Now you've piqued my interest. What exactly about Justin Smith would rock anyone's world? What makes him so interesting? That he does not fit the GOP stereotype? The fact that he attempts to avoid controversy or confrontation at all costs? He's now even gone as far as to say that he won't get involved in this primary to support his incumbent legislator, because it may ruffle some feathers to get involved in a primary. He's a sweetheart of a guy, but I simply can't see what would be so earth shattering about meeting him. Please elaborate.