Paduchik: Emilia Sykes is “too extreme” for OH-13

July 9, 2024

In a new op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch, former chairman of the Ohio Republican Party and a former co-chairman of the Republican National Committee, Robert Paduchik, discusses the importance of Ohio’s Thirteenth Congressional District as a “one horse race that could be the ultimate upset and the seat that determines control of the U.S. House of Representatives.”

The piece also highlights how Emilia Sykes’ extreme positions are out of touch with her voters and how Kevin Coughlin is the best chance to flip this seat red.

Read the piece here or see excerpts below.

Emilia Sykes is too extreme for Ohio district that can determine control of US House
The Columbus Dispatch
Robert Paduchik
July 9, 2024

While Ohio has lost its presidential battleground state status for the 2024 election cycle, there is one horse race that could be the ultimate upset and the seat that determines control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

A new district since 2022, Ohio’s 13th Congressional District is one of only eleven true swing House districts in the country.

It reflects a diverse electorate that is responsive to effective, locally focused campaigning and it encompasses all of Summit County, most of Stark County, and a small portion of Portage County. I know it very well, it’s where I grew up and got my start in politics.

Summit County hasn’t had a Republican member of Congress since 1971. Kevin Coughlin is our best chance in decades to break that record.


Coughlin is a fifth-generation resident of Summit County that started from humble beginnings, worked his way through school and built a business and family in northeast Ohio.

As a state senator, Kevin has always been an independent voice for common sense conservatism who has always put his constituents first. Most importantly, Coughlin has pledged to protect Social Security, secure our border and fight the policies behind “Biden-flation.” 

Coughlin’s deep roots in the area and his understanding of the local issues resonate with the district’s voters.


Emilia Sykes, on the other hand, aligns closely with the most radical elements of the Washington Democrats and has increasingly embraced extreme positions that do not resonate with the commonsense voters of the district. Sykes’ support for open border policies under the Biden administration starkly contrasts with the district’s desire for safety and security.

This positioning by Sykes illustrates a broader trend of being out of touch with the values and needs of her constituents. While Sykes has never been tested in a tough election, Coughlin has a history of winning in swing districts. He flipped an Ohio House seat and held a tossup Ohio Senate seat for ten years, and is the only Republican ever elected Clerk of Summit County’s northern court district.

His crossover appeal, campaign skills, and landslide victory in the March primary – winning a three-way race by a margin of nearly 40% – have caught the attention of party leaders. For voters in Ohio’s 13th District, the choice this election is critical. It’s about selecting a representative who genuinely understands the Akron-Canton area and is dedicated to addressing the issues that matter most to its residents. Kevin Coughlin’s campaign is about more than just one seat; it’s about affirming a commitment to effective leadership, and the values that have built this state and country. The real political battleground in 2024 is Ohio’s 13th Congressional District and I predict on November 6, Kevin Coughlin will be Representative-elect for Ohio 13.

Read more here.