CINCINNATI (TDB) -- He was term-limited out of the Ohio House in 2008, and has tried twice to win the Oh-02 congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt, a Republican whom he holds in low regard. Brinkman is not your standard issue GOPer -- he endorsed former Gov. Bob Taft's Democratic opponent in 2002. Brinkman has feuded with party leaders, and won his House seat by beating the county party's endorsed candidate. He is a maverick, a conservative maverick. But he's running for Hamilton County Auditor this year under the official Republican banner.
GOP Chairman Alex Triantafilou endorsed Brinkman for auditor this morning. (By the way, some folks pronounce the chairman's surname as "Tryingtofoolyou." The Bellwether likes to call him Chairman Alex.) Chairman Alex made no mention of any past difficulties or Brinkman's sandpaper relationship with the party brass. Maybe he was being Mr. Tryingtofoolyou:
"Tom Brinkman has a history of fighting for lower taxes and to protect life. Instead of playing both sides, Tom has been a loyal conservative fighting for taxpayers. He will continue that fight in the Auditor's office."
Wikipedia has a wonderful biographical entry about Brinkman. The Bellwether has known him for years. He is unique. And with Brinkman what you see is what you get. He is not a phoney. He is not a diva. He says what he believes. You may not like what he says or believes. In fact, what he says and believes drives a lot of people crazy, or leaves them scratching their heads. But Brinkman recognized Bob Taft and Jean Schmidt as flawed figures and lightweights, and spoke up. Few others in his party would break ranks to tell the truth. Long before there was a tea party movement, Tom was Capt. Lipton.