Ohio Republican gubernatorial nominee Mike DeWine made a campaign stop in Hillsboro Friday morning to shake hands and greet supporters at Holtfield Station and Momma’s West Main Cafe.
DeWine will face off against Democratic rival Richard Cordray in the upcoming mid-term elections on Nov. 6.
Maggie Horst, wife of former Highland County sheriff and county commissioner Tom Horst, was waiting for DeWine to arrive at Holtfield Station with an “I Like Mike” lapel pin on her jacket.
“I love Mike because he is a family man, he is good for law enforcement and I believe he will be good for the state of Ohio,” she said.
Tom Horst, who was also in attendance, remembered meeting DeWine at the Highland County Fair the first time he ran for state representative.
“He was there by himself, and he spent all week shaking hands and meeting people,” he said. “He became a fast friend and I’ve kept up with him ever since.”
A Suffolk University Boston poll shows Cordray leading DeWine by six points, 46 percent to 40 percent, with 10 percent undecided. DeWine said it will be a very close race.
“This shouldn’t surprise anybody,” Dewine told the Times-Gazette, “since it is Ohio and it’s an open seat for governor with no incumbent, and historically when you look at races like this they tend to be very close races.”
DeWine said that his job in the remaining days before the election is to continue campaigning and share his vision for the future of Ohio.
“We don’t want to go back to where we were eight years ago,” he said. “We lost over 400,000 jobs, unemployment was double digit, and though we’ve made significant progress, we need to take it to the next level.”
At the campaign stop, he told supporters of his 12-point plan for Ohio, which has a focus on law enforcement and the opioid problem, specifically prevention and rehabilitation.
“If you contrast that with Mr. Cordray’s position on drugs,” he said, “he’s in favor of Issue 1, which is a total disaster.”
Ohio Issue 1, a controversial constitutional amendment, aims to reduce statewide incarceration and increase funding for drug treatment and victim programs.
“People ask me ‘Mike, why are you running?’ I think I bring a sense of urgency to this job,” DeWine said. “The minute I walk in, people are going to know we’re going to be all over these problems that face our state… we don’t have a magic wand, but my administration will be ready to tackle these issues.”
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.