Schiavoni hits the campaign stump for governor

Platform focuses on jobs, education, safety

By David Skolnick


Ohio Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in 2018, said his message is clear: If elected, he’ll work to make sure people have good jobs, kids get a quality education and people feel safe in their neighborhoods.

“If you don’t have those three, then the other things don’t matter,” said Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd, to about 150 people at a Monday campaign event at the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 66 District 2 hall.

Schiavoni said that “everybody deserves a fair shot at life. It doesn’t have to be that complex. Politicians make it seem like politics has to be so confusing and so complex, but it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Schiavoni said he wants to talk about the issues that will make Ohio a better place “and improve the quality of life for all Ohioans. It doesn’t have to be rocket science. When you talk about improving the quality of life, you’re talking about giving people an opportunity for employment, quality education and making sure people are safe in their neighborhoods.”

Schiavoni officially announced two weeks ago that he was running for governor, but has been campaigning around the state since the summer. He said he’s made campaign stops in about 25 counties.

Meanwhile, former state Rep. Connie Pillich, who lost the 2014 Ohio treasurer’s race, declared her candidacy Monday 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. “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 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 Schiavoni 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 has 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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