Democratic gubernatorial candidate announces running mate

By David Skolnick


Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill, running in the Democratic primary for governor, said a Lorain school principal will be his running mate.

Meanwhile, two other gubernatorial candidates – one Democrat and one Republican – will announce their running mates today.

There are five other declared Democrats running for governor with ex-U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich expected to jump in the race next week.

Of the declared Democratic candidates, Richard Cordray, a former state attorney general and treasurer, said he’ll disclose the name of his running mate today. Cordray will announce ex-U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, a current gubernatorial candidate, as his lieutenant governor running mate and she’ll get out of the governor’s race, according to the Associated Press.

Attempts Tuesday by The Vindicator to seek comment from Cordray and Sutton campaign spokesmen were unsuccessful.

O’Neill selected Chantelle Lewis of East Cleveland, as his lieutenant governor running mate Tuesday. Lewis is a pre-kindergarten-through-grade-8 school principal in Lorain. She previously served as a city councilwoman and school board member in her hometown.

Lewis has a school superintendent’s license, two master’s degrees from Cleveland State University and is working on a doctorate in education from Youngstown State University.

O’Neill plans to resign from the Supreme Court on Jan. 26. He is the lone Democrat on the court. Gov. John Kasich will choose O’Neill’s replacement. Judge Mary DeGenaro of Poland, who serves on the Youngstown-based 7th District Court of Appeals, is the endorsed Republican to succeed O’Neill and will likely be the Republican governor’s selection to fill the impending vacancy.

O’Neill becomes the second Democratic candidate for governor to announce a running mate.

Last week, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd, said Stephanie Dodd of Licking County, a State Board of Education member, would be his lieutenant governor running mate.

On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor said she will announce her running mate today. Multiple reports said it will be Nathan Estruth, a former executive with Proctor & Gamble FutureWorks who now heads an injection molding company in the Cincinnati area.

Attorney General Mike DeWine has Secretary of State Jon Husted as his running mate. Husted was running for governor when he instead opted to quit and run with DeWine last month.

U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci announced last month that Cincinnati City Councilwoman Amy Murray would be his running mate. With Treasurer Josh Mandel’s decision Friday to withdraw from the U.S. Senate race, Renacci said he would consider running for that position if the White House asked him to do so.

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