Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, campaigning for Ohio governor, stopped in Hillsboro Wednesday to meet local residents, positioning herself as more conservative than GOP primary opponent Mike DeWine and distancing herself from Gov. John Kasich.
Taylor was accompanied by her running mate, Cincinnati businessman Nathan Estruth, who said he joined the ticket in January after praying about it and deciding that “Mary is truly a conservative champion.”
Taylor and Estruth, who gathered with a small group of local residents shortly before noon in a party room at Twenty-Four Exchange deli, both described their ticket as more conservative than DeWine on issues ranging from guns to abortion to taxes.
Asked her views on President Trump, Taylor said Trump is “generally governing as a conservative,” even more conservative than some other Republican presidents. She said Trump is “doing what he said he would do,” and pointed to his appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and the tax cut bill passed in December as examples of the president keeping his campaign promises.
On the subject of Kasich, with whom Taylor has served as lieutenant governor for nearly eight years, Taylor echoed a comment made earlier by Estruth that Taylor did not leave the governor, but “Kasich left me.”
Taylor, who previously served as Ohio state auditor, said, “I believe in conservative government,” adding that as auditor she aggressively held government accountable for taxpayer dollars.
Taylor said tackling the opioid issue, reforming the education system and workforce training were among the top issues for her campaign.
Some attendees Wednesday said there was not much advance notice of Taylor’s visit. No Republican Party officials or officeholders were on hand. Last month, the Highland County GOP endorsed the ticket featuring DeWine and his running mate, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.
Taylor previously served in the state legislature, and was elected state auditor in 2006, the only Republican in Ohio to win a statewide non-judicial race that year. The Kasich-Taylor ticket defeated incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland in 2010, and was reelected in 2014.
Estruth serves on the board of directors of KPS Global, “a private equity backed business-to-business service and manufacturing leader in the retail cooler industry segment,” according to biographical information on the campaign website. He recently retired from Procter & Gamble after serving as an officer and vice-president for more than a decade.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or follow on Twitter @AbernathyGary.