COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s race for governor has kicked into high gear as a major Republican merger and a big Democrat’s expected entry causes candidates to rethink their futures.
Republicans Mike DeWine and Jon Husted, the state’s attorney general and secretary of state, planned to announce a joint ticket Thursday, with the younger Husted signing on as DeWine’s running mate.
“It’s highly important that the Governor and Lt. Governor share a common vision for the state,” said Mike DeWine.
DeWine went on to say, “It’s not only about the ticket. What’s a lot more important is finding the right person.”
John Husted took the stand to cleat the air on what lead to the decision.
“There was no smoke-filled rooms or backroom deals. It was just friends sitting down for breakfast yesterday. We agreed that the best way to serve Ohio, was to serve together,” said Husted.
The new partnership has two main goals.
“Those two challenges are education and the drug problem. John said, from day one, when we walk in that door. We will have an agenda and will know where we are going….Everyone in the state of Ohio will know where we intend to lead on the first day we take office,” said DeWine.
Ohio State Representative Niraj Antani wrote this statement about the the joint ticket:
“Next year’s election is critically important for Ohio’s future, and I believe a Republican must win the Governor’s race. Therefore, I am excited to announce my support for the Mike DeWine-Jon Husted ticket in 2018. As one of Jon Husted’s first supporters in the Governor’s race, I am thankful for his selflessness and I know he will serve Ohio well as our next Lieutenant Governor. Republicans in Ohio must now rally behind Mike DeWine to win the Governor’s race next year. As a strong supporter of pro-life policies, Mike DeWine has my full support, and I look forward to doing everything I can in the greater Dayton area to elect Mike DeWine as Governor and Jon Husted as Lieutenant Governor in 2018.”
Rival GOP candidate Mary Taylor, the state’s lieutenant governor, planned an announcement on her campaign’s future later in the day.
On the Democratic side, tabloid talk show host Jerry Springer says he’s decided not to run.
Springer’s announcement on a weekly podcast came days after Democrat Richard Cordray left his job as federal consumer watchdog. The move was considering positioning for an expected entry soon into the race.