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Government & Politics
2018 was a big election year in Ohio. Republicans held onto all five statewide executive offices including governor and super majorities in both the Ohio House and Senate. But there were a few bright spots for Democrats, among them the reelection of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and the election of two Democrats to the Ohio Supreme Court.With election 2018 over, the focus now shifts to governing. Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

Ohio Republican Gubernatorial Candidate DeWine Gets a Union Endorsement

photo of Mike DeWine with union members
MARK URYCKI
/
WCPN
Pressed on proposals to make Ohio a right-to-work state, DeWine said it's not on his agenda, but he'll do what's needed to make Ohio competitive.

In what could be a close gubernatorial race this year, Republican nominee Mike DeWine  picked up a labor union endorsement Wednesday. A nod for a Republican is not unusual for the International Union of Operating Engineers.

IUOE Local 18 represents about 15,000 members in Ohio.  They’re the heavy equipment operators who build roads and bridges. President Obama came to Ohio to promote an infrastructure bill but Congressional Republicans rejected it.

But Richard Dalton, the business manager for the operating engineers, says Ohio spending on highways has been very good.

“We’ve been more successful with a Republican as a governor than we have with a Democrat as the governor,” Dalton said. 

The only political statement on the union’s website is that Right to Work Laws are wrong for Ohio. Yet those proposals to weaken labor unions is exactly what Republican legislators in Columbus are proposing.

Asked if he would sign such a law, Mike DeWine avoided answering and quoted Gov. John  Kasich.

"Not on our agenda, at all," he said.

When pushed,  Dewine said he would do anything that keeps Ohio competitive.