Ohio Gubernatorial Election Heats Up as More Democrats Have Entered the Race
Since Ohio’s gubernatorial candidates first started filing, a lot has changed, with more candidates entering the Democratic primary and one leaving the Republican primary. Ohioans now have three Republican candidates and seven Democratic candidates to pick from for the state’s next leader, as the February deadline for petition-filing draws nearer.
The GOP’s frontrunner, Attorney General Mike DeWine, has teamed up with former candidate and Secretary of State Jon Husted, who’s now running for lieutenant governor. The duo is endorsed by a handful of county parties, as well as former presidential candidate and senator Rick Santorum.
DeWine and Husted are running against two others in their party: Jim Renacci, a Trump-branded representative of Ohio’s 16th district, and current Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor. Renacci has received endorsements from Bikers for Trump and Citizens for Trump, while Taylor is backed by Gov. John Kasich, State Senator Louis Terhar, and several state representatives.
The three GOP candidates are up against seven Democratic runners, including those who first filed: former state representative Connie Pillich, State Senator and former Minority Leader of the Ohio Senate Joe Schiavoni, former U.S. Representative Betty Sutton and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.
Three more democrats have come onto the scene, landing Ohio on Politico’s list of the top 10 governor’s races of 2018. Richard Cordray, former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and former Ohio Attorney General, joined the race in December, as well as Dave Kiefer, former Wayne County Commissioner and Republican candidate for state representative in 2016, and Bill O’Neill, an Ohio Supreme Court Justice.
“A late entrance by former CFPB Director Richard Cordray into the primary has added a Democrat with a national profile to the list of about five candidates competing for the nomination. But Republicans in Ohio for months have been gearing up for an aggressive primary and general election to succeed Kasich,” the Politico article reports. “Cordray’s presence in the race has already attracted the support of high profile Democrats like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who endorsed Cordray shortly after he jumped into the race.”
Cordray is also endorsed by television host Jerry Springer and Valerie Jarrett, the Senior Advisor to former president Barack Obama.
Democrats have earned endorsements from others, too, with former Pennsylvania governor and former Democratic National Convention chairman Ed Rendell endorsing Pillich, and a multitude of labor unions endorsing Schiavoni and Sutton. Whaley has received some local endorsements from Columbus City Councilmembers Elizabeth Brown and Jaiza Page, as well as the support of mayors across Ohio.