By Marc Kovac
Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has launched his campaign for governor, capping months of speculation about his 2018 intentions.
The former Ohio House Speaker and state senator grew up in Montpelier in northwestern Ohio, which served as the backdrop for an online video announcing his candidacy.
“This small town is where my values were formed – families are strong, faith is deep and neighbors stand ready to lend a hand,” he said. “… It’s people here and folks who are struggling all across Ohio that motivate me every day.”
He added, “Starting today, I’m running for governor so I can continue to fight for them. Ohio needs a governor who knows what it’s like to struggle to pay the bills, a governor who’ll fight with everything he’s got for working families, a governor with a real plan for better-paying jobs and the determination to get it done.”
Before elected office, Husted was vice president for economic development at the Dayton-Area Chamber of Commerce. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Dayton, where he was a member of the 1989 Division III national championship football team.
Husted plans 10 public events around the state this week as part of an “announcement tour,” starting in Dayton on Monday and ending in Circleville on Thursday.
He joins two other Republicans who have already announced their campaigns – Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and Congressman Jim Renacci. Attorney General Mike DeWine is expected to make it an at-least-four-person GOP primary.
A handful of Democrats have already announced their 2018 gubernatorial aspirations, including former Congresswoman Betty Sutton, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, former state Rep. Connie Pillich of Cincinnati and former Wayne County Commissioner David Kiefer, with several others considering the race.