Boardman’s Donald K. Allen plans to run as a tea-party candidate in the GOP gubernatorial primary

By David Skolnick


After the tea party’s first gubernatorial-lieutenant gubernatorial team fell apart before getting started, it has a potential new ticket with Donald K. Allen, a Boardman veterinarian, at the top.

In a Monday email, Tom Zawistowski, a state tea-party leader, said Allen is willing to run against Gov. John Kasich in the May Republican primary.

Allen’s lieutenant governor running mate would be Kelly Kohls, chairwoman of the Warren County TEA Party.

Zawistowski — president of We the People Convention, executive director of the Portage County TEA Party and former head of the Ohio Liberty Coalition — told The Vindicator on Monday that “it’s a little premature” to say the Allen-Kohls team was definitely running.

They need at least 1,000 valid signatures on nominating petitions by Feb. 5 to be on the Republican primary ballot.

That would be the responsibility of tea-party members because Allen and Kohls can’t do it on their own, Zawistowski said.

After the short-lived Ted Stevenot-Brenda L. Mack ticket dissolved a week ago, tea-party leaders asked for others to step up and run. Mack had a history of financial problems, but Stevenot said that didn’t play a factor in his decision.

Mack, of Canfield, had a history of financial problems including a 2002 Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy, a 2008 bankruptcy of a cleaning business she owned, failure to pay about $20,000 in state taxes and a 2002 conviction for passing bad checks.

Zawistowski said he didn’t know much about Allen until recently speaking to him.

In the email, he wrote that Allen “does lean a bit Libertarian and none of us will agree with anyone about everything, but I have no doubt that you and your members will make the decision that he is competent and one heck of a lot more conservative than John Kasich.”

Allen couldn’t be reached Monday by The Vindicator to comment, but in recent months he said he was giving serious consideration to running in the Republican primary against U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson of Marietta, R-6th.

Johnson defeated Allen and Richard Stobbs in the 2010 GOP primary in the 6th Congressional District race. Johnson beat Allen by 5.12 percentage points — 1,697 votes in a primary with 33,146 total voters. Allen also ran as a write-in for president in 2008 in Ohio only getting 212 votes with 171 from Mahoning County and 23 from Trumbull County.

Like Mack, Kohls has a Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy in her past. She and her husband filed in 2010.

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