Moderate Republican Group Drops “Republican” From Name

A group identified with the moderate wing of the GOP, and now headed by former Ohio Congressman Steve LaTourette, has taken steps to distance itself from the GOP:

The Republican Main Street Partnership, a Washington-based group that has promoted moderate GOP lawmakers and policies, will remove the word “Republican” from its title and welcome center-right Democrats in 2013, Yahoo News has learned.

The organization’s board of directors voted Tuesday morning to scrap party identification from its title and be known simply as “The Main Street Partnership.” The group’s new president, former Ohio Republican Rep. Steven LaTourette, told Yahoo News that he plans to begin conversations with Blue Dog Democrats and centrist groups in the coming months.

“The goal is to try and fill the void that is the middle,” LaTourette, who resigned from Congress this year, said. “The American political system is like a doughnut: You’ve got sides, but you don’t have anything in the middle, and it would be my goal to work with Republicans and Democrats who want to find the path forward to getting things done and compromise.”

The Main Street Partnership will also expand its super PAC, Defending Main Street, to aid center-right members of both parties, LaTourette said, adding, “It’s not going to be focused so much on party as it is on protecting people from the right and left extremes if they choose to do the right things.”

Well, the GOP is a damaged brand at this point so this isn’t surprising.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Markey says:



  2. de stijl says:

    Nowadays, a moderate Republican is as rare as a left wing Democrat.

    Obama is to the right of Nixon, Ford, Dole etc, but somehow he is still controlled by the left wing media which is owned part and parcel by for profit corporations. Life works out strange sometimes.

  3. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Odd that LaTourette didn’t mind the Republican label when he ran for and then won his seat in Congress for the better part of two consecutive decades. Back then being a Republican was OK for him. But now that he’s on K Street, running a PAC in addition to lobbying, and trolling for dollars, well, I think it’s pretty clear how to connect those obvious dots. The other irony about this announcement, which probably will be lost on LaTourette and of course upon the chattering classes, is that LaTourette somehow managed over nearly 20 years in the House, spanned by three presidents, to post a lifetime ACU rating of around 70. I suspect most moderates and “center-right Democrats,” whatever those are, assuming they even exist, would find that that’s a pretty f’n conservative voting record for a putative “centrist.” Go figure.

  4. Neil Hudelson says:

    This strikes me as a much more effective way to create a moderate voice than silly enterprises like the “No Labels” party.


    Have you never heard the phrase “I didn’t leave the party, the party left me?”
    The “irony” is probably lost on you.*

    *whatever that means.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Back then being a Republican was OK for him.

    Back then, one didn’t have to be batsh!t crazy to be a Republican.

  6. swbarnes2 says:

    Well, the GOP is a damaged brand at this point so this isn’t surprising.

    I’m curious what you think this means, in light of the fact that you consistently vote for Republicans. Do you think that people are wrongly evaluating the Republican party as having horrible, damaging policies? I mean, when you were quoting Akin and Mourdock, you never actually criticized their statements as monstrous, so I guess you thought they were just amusing in a “let them eat cake” sort of way?

  7. Rob in CT says:

    that’s a pretty f’n conservative voting record for a putative “centrist.”

    Oh, look, a blind squirrel found a nut.

    This man is only a centrist because the GOP has gone batshit.