Taylor Answers Questions About Kasich and Opioids in Her Official Campaign Launch for Governor
Months after she made it clear she would be running for governor, Ohio’s Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor made it official. As WKSU’S M.L. Schultze reports, she did so in an increasingly rare political forum: an event where the public could – and did – ask some challenging questions.
When Mary Taylor told more than 100 people at the City Club of Cleveland that she’s officially running to succeed John Kasich, she got a standing ovation. But she also was pressed on how she differentiates herself from Kasich – whom some conservative Republicans criticize for embracing Medicaid expansion and for not embracing Donald Trump. Taylor responded that she’s her own person – politically and personally.
“I haven’t always agreed with this governor but I respect the man and I respect the position and my disagreements came behind closed door. And any conversation that I had with him where he knew that he and I were not on the same page, are discussions behind closed doors and that’s where they’ll remain, for the most part.’
As Taylor was making her announcement, one of her primary opponents, Congressman Jim Renacci, was tweeting a graphic mocking the other three -- Taylor, Secretary of State John Husted and Attorney General Mike DeWine -- for playing musical chairs with their statewide political offices.
Experience, painful and otherwise
Taylor tried to differentiate herself from the others as well by citing personal and professional experience: as head of the state's effort to cut regulations, opposing the Affordable Care Act and in talking about the opioid crisis.
Last month, Taylor revealed that both her adult sons struggled with addiction and are in recovery. In today’s speech, she called for a comprehensive approach to fighting the crisis that includes prosecuting dealers and shutting down drug imports.
“It’s comprehensive treatment, too. And I can tell you, having personally been through it, 30-day programs aren’t enough. It’s a brain disease and it should be treated as a brain disease.”
Taylor took a swipe at one of her likely primary opponents, DeWine, who recently sued the manufacturers of painkillers. She said hiring lawyers won’t solve the problem.