COLUMBUS -- Governor John Kasich's choice to be top man of the Ohio Republican Party has been elected, beating a Tea Party conservative challenger from Portage County.
The GOP Central Committee voted 48 to 7 to elect 40-year-old Matt Borges, the party's current Executive Director, over businessman and Tea Party Leader Tom Zawistowski.
Zawistowski said the party had gotten away from its principles and lost connections with conservatives on fiscal and social issues.
Borges had a 2004 misdemeanor corruption conviction in a pay to play scandal. He had that expunged.
Fellow Republicans also criticized for not being more upfront about significant unpaid Federal and state taxes.
Some were uncomfortable with his former role as a lobbyist for a gay rights group.
Borges repaid most of the liens before Friday's vote.
Borges succeeds Cleveland's Bob Bennett who came back to the job a second time as interim chairman after Kevin DeWine was pressured out of the job.
Bennett served 23 years in the post.
Borges starts June 1st.
A Democratic Party spokesman said Borges election means, "the Governor's political machine will be run by a tax cheat and admitted influence peddler."
Kasich had said Borges is a good man, deserving of a second chance.