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Conservative former state reps join Republican contest for Ohio governor

Former Rep. Ron Hood (R-Ashville)
Daniel Konik
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Former Rep. Ron Hood (R-Ashville)

At the top of the ticket is Ron Hood, a former state representative from Ashville who described himself as a “forever Trumper” when he ran for Congress against the Trump-endorsed candidate who won, Mike Carey (R-OH 15).

His running mate Candice Keller is a former state representative from Middletown and leads an anti-abortion pregnancy center. She ran unsuccessfully for the Ohio Senate in 2020.

Both Hood and Keller back the expansion of gun rights and oppose all abortions. The two worked together in 2020 on a bill to prevent doctors from prescribing drugs to delay puberty or perform surgery to change a child’s gender. They're also strong supporters of former president Trump, and have spread disinformation about COVID and vaccines.

Keller confirmed the campaign launch by posting a photo of herself and Hood on the Facebook page of her group Patriot America, with the caption “Game on”.

A post on Candice Keller's Facebook page on February 1, 2022, confirming that she and Ron Hood are running for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor and governor, respectively.
Facebook
A post on Candice Keller's Facebook page on February 1, 2022, confirming that she and Ron Hood are running for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor and governor, respectively.

There are already two strongly Trump-focused teams in the GOP primary: former Congressman Jim Renacci and central Ohio farmer and businessman Joe Blystone. Both are running as critics of COVID actions and other policies of incumbent Mike DeWine, but are far behind him in fundraising.

With Hood, Renacci and Blystone all in the race, they could end up splitting the anti-DeWine votes in the May primary.

DeWine hasn't officially launched his campaign for governor, but is planning on filing his paperwork on Wednesday.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.