Ohio AG DeWine formally announces his run for governor

CEDARVILLE, OH (AP) — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced he is running for governor in 2018.

The 70-year-old Republican, a former U.S. senator and lieutenant governor, made the announcement at his annual ice cream social at his Cedarville home in southwest Ohio. The social has become a mainstay of Ohio summer politics.

“Ohio is a great state,” DeWine told the large crowd of supporters, “but we have some very significant problems . . . The tragedy of our state today is that too many Ohioans will never realize their dreams because they simply lack the education, the skills, the training – and, in too many cases, the sobriety.”

Cedarville University political scientist Mark Caleb Smith says DeWine should be an instant front-runner with his name recognition and favorability among voters, extensive political network and more than $2.5 million in his campaign war chest.

It’s not clear how well DeWine’s traditional political profile will serve him in a national political climate that’s been upended by President Donald Trump. DeWine’s two announced Republican challengers are already employing some of President Trump’s populist campaign tactics.

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