DAYTON — Citing a shared vision and common goals, Attorney General Mike DeWine Thursday announced that Secretary of State Jon Husted is his running mate for governor in the 2018 election.
The announcement came at the University of Dayton in front of a cadre of family, friends, and other elected officials where DeWine called Husted “uniquely qualified and ready.”
“The most important decision that a governor makes is actually made well before taking office and that is to choose the lieutenant governor candidate,” DeWine, 70, said. “I’ve thought a lot about this. That person must really be someone who can help the ticket … finding the right person who can help govern. That person is Jon Husted.”
Husted — who had been campaigning for governor — said it was “time to work together.”
“As I campaigned across Ohio, I would constantly hear from Republicans who were tired of all the fighting,” Husted, 50, said. “They wondered why we just couldn’t work things out and work together because were all supposed to be serving them. If I had continued my run for governor, Mike and I would have fought a brutal campaign that would have left the winner bruised and broken with only a few minutes to rebuild in time for the general election. We agreed that the best way for us to serve Ohio was to serve together.”
Husted told his supporters that all of his plans, goals, and visions would still be accomplished.
“The only thing what will change is my job title,” he said.
Both said they would be ready to tackle all of Ohio’s issues from day one. DeWine said fighting the opioid epidemic and ensuring all Ohioans are “career or college ready” out of high school are the two priorities.
“We’ve got a couple of big challenges and Jon and I agree on what those two challenges are,” DeWine said.
With Husted dropping out of the race to team up with DeWine, it leaves U.S. Rep Jim Renacci of Wadsworth and current Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor as the other Republican candidates.
Both made announcements Thursday that they were staying in race.
“Today two career politicians have joined forces, offering nothing but the status quo,” Renacci posted on Twitter. “The choice could not be more clear. Go to http://RenacciforOhioFirst.com to get to know me & understand the differences b/t myself and two career politician insiders. Together we can make #OhioFirst!”
Via prepared statement, Taylor said she is in the race to win it and will fight for Ohio’s future.
On the Democratic side candidates who have already announced include Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, former state representative Connie Pillich of Cincinnati, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton of Akron, and Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill.
Richard Cordray, who just resigned as director of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is expected to join the Democratic race as well.