DeWine, Husted join forces in run for Ohio governor

Mike Dewine and Jon Husted

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Two powerhouse Republicans in Ohio are moving from rivalry to cooperation in the 2018 race for Ohio governor.

Attorney General Mike DeWine announced on Thursday that rival Jon Husted, the state’s elections chief, will be his running mate.

At an announcement event in Dayton, Husted said he believes the two can “do more as a team than as individuals.”

The pairing comes days after Democrat Richard Cordray left his job as federal consumer watchdog in what is considered positioning for jumping into the race. The former state attorney general and treasurer is viewed as a larger threat to Republicans than any of the five Democrats running so far.

State Democratic Chairman David Pepper said DeWine and Husted make “the worst possible ticket to deliver change in Columbus.”

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor says the merger won’t drive her from the race for governor.

Taylor said Thursday that Ohioans want “a governor who will challenge the status quo, not accede to it.”

Taylor has served two terms as lieutenant governor to Republican Gov. John Kasich, who is term-limited.

She said the 70-year-old DeWine “is the past” and her campaign represents the future. The 51-year-old is the only Republican woman running for a statewide office.

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.

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