DeWine officially makes governor bid


Associated Press

CEDARVILLE, OHIO

In the era before President Donald Trump, Republican Mike DeWine’s status as an easy favorite to win Ohio’s governor’s race would have been assured.

The 70-year-old attorney general, who announced his long-anticipated bid Sunday, is one of the state’s most familiar and high-profile public figures, a former U.S. senator and lieutenant governor with a big wholesome-looking family, an extensive political network and $2.5 million already in the bank.

It remains to be seen how DeWine’s traditional political profile will play in a national political climate upended by President Donald Trump. DeWine’s two announced Republican challengers are employing some of Trump’s populist campaign tactics.

U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci is pushing himself as a political-outsider businessman and hiring up former staffers from Trump’s successful presidential campaign. Secretary of State Jon Husted, despite his record of bipartisan compromise, launched his campaign with ads that capitalized on divisive remarks that came back to haunt high-profile Democrats, including saying his family “would firmly fit in Hillary Clinton’s ‘basket of deplorables.”’

“It’s a different political world we’re looking at,” said Cedarville University political scientist Mark Caleb Smith, while predicting that DeWine will at least begin the race as the presumed front-runner.

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