Pillich enters Democratic primary race for governor

YOUNGSTOWN — Former state Rep. Connie Pillich, who lost the 2014 Ohio treasurer’s race, has declared her candidacy for the 2018 Democratic primary for governor.

“We as Democrats have got to reclaim our status as patriots, we cannot be afraid to stand up for our values,” Pillich said in a campaign announcement today. “We believe individual liberty and shared responsibility lead to equal opportunity. We need new, progressive and unflinching leadership to improve our schools, rebuild our infrastructure, bring back industry and the jobs that can support a family.”

Pillich, a former U.S. Air Force captain, said that during her time in the military she learned that “no matter what the challenge, if you work together and face it head on, you can make a difference. Too many in Ohio are hurting. Our strained communities are looking for new leaders willing to stand for something larger than themselves.”

Pillich served three terms in the Ohio House. She lost the 2014 treasurer’s race to incumbent Republican Josh Mandel by 13 percentage points.

She joins Ohio Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd, and former three-term U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton of Summit County as announced Democratic gubernatorial candidates. Others are expected to run as well.

On the Republican side, none have officially announced. But those expected to run include Attorney General Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Jon Husted, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci of Medina County.

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