The Williams County Republican Party was among six county party structures in western Ohio to sign a letter expressing disappointment with the statewide method in which Gov. Mike DeWine has handled the COVID-19 issue.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, on June 4, county party officials from Williams, Van Wert Mercer, Darke, Shelby and Preble counties sent a signed letter directly to DeWine. In mid-June, Warren County’s Republican Party officials took similar action.

A copy of the letter obtained by The Bryan Times outlines the group’s issues with DeWine’s approach.

“Your early interventions were based on the science and models you had on hand at the time, and these precautions were supported and applauded,” the letter states. “However, we now know much more than we did in March and have watched your public health orders assault the very values we spoke about above.

“Our manufacturing base has shuttered, our rural health systems have been forced into layoffs and our small businesses are on the brink of financial collapse while the actual viral impact has been minimal to the vast majority of our citizens.

“Your broad-stroke policies simply do not work for communities like ours, and the repercussions cannot be ignored. Too many of our fellow Republicans are angry, disappointed and dismayed at the big government approach you continue to take to a problem that no longer requires such intrusive methods.”

The letter further indicated economic damage perceived by party members was “translating politically” and implored DeWine to work with legislators to use “best practices gleaned from surrounding states to allow personal responsibility to once again liberate all Ohioans.”

Two years ago, Williams County residents voted in favor of DeWine and his running mate, Montpelier native Jon Husted, to the tune 9,323 votes, about 69%, in the November 2018 general election.

In the May 2018 primary, 2,253 votes, about 75.55%, were cast in favor of DeWine and Husted.

Reached by The Bryan Times on Tuesday, Williams County Republican Party Chair Patti Rockey declined further comment.

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