GOP leaders in 29 Ohio counties back Husted governor bid

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted drops off his ballot at the Franklin County Board of Elections Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio. A battle of the ground games will mark the final days before the election in swing state Ohio, where groups on the political right and left are making all-out efforts to get voters to the polls. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted’s campaign says party leaders in a third of Ohio’s counties are backing his bid for governor.

The list of 35 chairs, vice chairs or individuals in 29 counties was released Thursday, less than a month into Husted’s campaign. His spokesman says county party leaders are the state’s foremost campaign organizers and helped elect President Donald Trump last year.

The early display of grassroots support could be pivotal as Husted positions against a potentially crowded GOP field seeking to replace Republican Gov. John Kasich, who’s term-limited.

U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci is also seeking the GOP nomination, and runs by Attorney General Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor also are anticipated.

Husted is in his second term as state elections chief.

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