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Bennett could replace DeWine as Ohio GOP chairman

By Ann Sanner

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, April 5 2012 4:20 p.m. MDT

File-In this Friday, Jan. 16, 2009, file photo, newly elected Ohio Republican chairman Kevin DeWine, right, is introduced by outgoing chairman Bob Bennett at the state Republican party meeting in Columbus, Ohio. Bennett has indicated a willingness to take over for Ohio Republican Party chairman Kevin DeWine, said Doug Preisse, a Kasich ally and chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party.

Kiichiro Sato, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Republican Party's former chairman Bob Bennett says he's grateful for support he's received from GOP members to return to the job.

Current state party Chairman Kevin DeWine has announced he's stepping down next week amid bitter party infighting with Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY-sihk).

Bennett is one of the most successful and longest-serving Republican Party chairmen in Ohio. He held the job from 1988 until 2009.

Bennett told The Associated Press on Thursday that he hopes to arrive at a final decision in the next day or so. He declined to comment further.

Franklin County GOP chairman Doug Preisse (PRY'-se) said Bennett has indicated a willingness to take over for DeWine. He says Bennett is best equipped to immediately take the reins ahead of the fall presidential election.

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