Let's Check In (Briefly) With the 2018 Ohio Governor's Race


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This week's issue of Scene is on streets right this very moment, and you should indulge your senses in Sam Allard's compendium of Cleveland mayoral candidates and their views on this wacky city. You can also read it here, of course.

But although it's a year away, it's also getting to be time to learn about the candidates for the Ohio governor's office. John Kasich is term-limited (and possibly eyeing the White House in 2020).

So far, four contenders have emerged from each major political party. The 2018 midterm election will be a doozy for both U.S. Senate and House seats, and you can bet that open governor slots will be just competitive. The election of those offices will serve as a referendum of sorts on the direction in which President Donald Trump and the silent Republican majority has dragged this country.

We're just going to tee up the candidates here, but we simply must point you to Columbus Monthly's round-up, which is helpful and which features bullet-points on each politician like: "Will Be Played in the Movies By: Rick Moranis" (Mike DeWine).

Attorney General Mike DeWine
Secretary of State Jon Husted
U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci
Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley
Former State Rep. Connie Pillich
State Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni
Former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton

The 2014 election was a landslide joke between incumbent Kasich and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, whose candidacy was riddled with bizarre incidents and lapses in judgment (the man was driving around with a temporary learner's permit for heaven's sake).

One can only hope that 2018 will prove more politically interesting.

An early indicator of where things are headed can be found in the judicial system, where both DeWine and Whaley are named plaintiffs in separate lawsuits against the pharmaceutical industry. Their positions on the opiate addiction crisis will certainly distinguish them on the campaign trail.

Elsewhere, in the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court, Husted is a named defendant in ongoing litigation over his office's policy of scrapping voter registration information from the state rolls. With a new administration presiding over the Department of Justice, the federal momentum has swung back in favor of Husted's flavor of oversight, though the decision (which has wavered back in forth in various jurisdictions for more than a year) still rests in the hands of SCOTUS.

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