Some of the state’s top Republican officeholders who are likely to run for higher positions next year are weighing in on challenges they think Ohio faces right now.
Attorney General Mike DeWine says when people ask him about the problem facing the state that haunts him the most, he’ll say the opioid crisis. But DeWine says in reality, that’s a subset of a larger problem.
“I think the biggest problem the state faces is we have a large number of children growing up in dysfunctional homes and a large number of children growing up in very stressed homes, ... very very stressed. That is our challenge is how to ensure that each one of those children, no matter where they live in the state of Ohio, can live up to their God-given potential,” DeWine said.
DeWine vs. Husted vs. ...
DeWine has said he will run for governor in 2018, though he hasn’t officially launched his campaign. Secretary of State Jon Husted is also considering a run. Both men have already started raising funds for their campaigns, and both have raised about $2.5 million.
Husted says the decisions made now are going to have a profound effect on Ohio’s future. So he says it’s important to invest in educating children. In particular, he says the state needs to focus on taking care of children who lack basic needs, like food, health care and guidance.
“We are going to be economically competitive to get the businesses here. And we want people to earn more because in that decade that I talked about, ... we are going to rely on more and more and more of them for our economic health. And they need to learn more if they are going to have economic security and a better life.
"And I promise you, you look 10 years from now, the states that get this right are the ones that are going to be prosperous, and the states that don’t are going to fall further and further behind," Husted said.
Yost lauds a free and challenging press
Auditor Dave Yost has announced he’s running for attorney general next year. As a former Delaware County prosecutor, he says he’s qualified to deal with the opioid epidemic facing the state. And he says the state needs to face the truth.
Yost rejects the notion voiced by President Trump and some others in his party that the media is “the opposition party.” Yost, who worked as a Columbus Dispatch reporter early in his career, extols the role of a free press.
“We need an independent free, robust press that’s willing to ask difficult questions, to demand answers, to dive in and do the hard work of going through banker’s boxes worth of public records, to draw out the truth of what is going on. And we need to support that freedom of the press. Without that and without a robust working press, democracy doesn’t work and we are right in the middle of George Orwell’s dystopic vision of the future," Yost said.
Yost, Husted, and DeWine made their comments at an Associated Press forum with journalists from throughout the state. Treasurer Josh Mandel, who has announced he wants a rematch of the race he lost against democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown six years ago, was also invited, but did not attend.
All of the top-five administrative offices in the state are held by Republicans who are term-limited in 2018. Democrats hold no statewide offices except for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court and one of the two U.S. Senate seats. Democrats who being talked about as potential candidates for governor include the senator, Sherrod Brown, Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill, Congressman Tim Ryan, former state Sen. Nina Turner and the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Richard Cordray.