COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio Republican selected by president-elect Donald Trump to lead his domestic transition is an outspoken conservative with a history as a party maverick.
Ken Blackwell prevailed in an intra-party feud in 2006 to become Ohio's first black nominee for governor. He also took on fellow Republicans in the state Legislature while serving in statewide office.
As state elections chief, Blackwell played a pivotal role in administering the hotly-contested 2004 presidential election while serving as Republican George W. Bush's honorary campaign co-chair. Democrats alleged in political attacks and lawsuits that Blackwell supported vote-suppressing policies favoring Bush, who won Ohio and the election. Blackwell prevailed in court.
Blackwell is on the boards of the National Rifle Association and Club for Growth. He's also a senior fellow at the Family Research Council.