The Republican race for governor between Attorney General Mike DeWine, the front-runner, and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor is a pretty nasty one.
Taylor’s campaign has been particularly aggressive sharply criticizing DeWine for his lengthy – they contend far too lengthy – political career, dubbing him “DC DeWine,” “liberal,” and saying he is part of the “Establishment,” with a capital E.
Taylor needs to be aggressive as DeWine has refused to debate her. Taylor wants the debates, which won’t happen, to somehow make up ground on DeWine, who has a comfortable lead over the lieutenant governor, according to polls.
Taylor’s campaign has sent numerous emails to Ohio political reporters ripping into DeWine. Also, Onward Ohio, a super PAC that supports Taylor, went on television last week with a commercial criticizing De- Wine. DeWine’s campaign was prepared with an ad ready in response. As quickly as Onward Ohio’s commercial went up, DeWine’s campaign followed.
The DeWine ad called “unfit, unqualified,” and called Taylor a “slacker.”
In an email about the commercial, Dave Luketic, De- Wine’s campaign manager, said: “Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor is unfit and unqualified to be governor. The lieutenant governor and her supporters continue to focus on false and misleading attacks about Mike DeWine because there is absolutely nothing good to say about her own record. Over her more than 15 years as an elected official, Mary Taylor’s scandals in office vastly outnumber her accomplishments.”
The DeWine campaign also set up a simple website, MaryDoesNotWork.com, that looks like a Google search with “Is Mary Taylor ready to be governor?” in the search line.
The site includes links to articles about Taylor seeing numerous staff members leave, rumors that she skips out on work, and that she reimbursed about $1,000 to the state after using a state airplane in 2011 though she said the flights were for official business.
On top of that, DeWine’s campaign tweeted on @MaryDoesntWork at Taylor: “When you abuse your power and fly around on a state plane for personal use, it’s not conservative – it’s criminal. #OHGov #LockHerUp #RINO.”
The tweet was taken down about a week later and DeWine told The Columbus Dispatch that he “had no knowledge [#LockHerUp] was being done, but it was a mistake that should not have happened.”
Taylor fired back in an email Tuesday.
“It’s been almost a week since Mike DeWine pathetically insulted me while hiding behind an ad agency and his cronies, but still refuses to say it to my face in a debate. It’s the oldest political Establishment trick in the book: name calling and slander to distract from his 40-plus year liberal record.
“A record that includes voting with Hillary Clinton to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants and allowing illegals access to Social Security and taxpayer-funded tuition. Mike DeWine also mandated that all Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles grant driver’s licenses to illegals with Social Security numbers that he helped give them in the U.S. Senate. No wonder he’s scared to debate.
“Should he choose to, I’ll gladly look him in the eye and tell him what I’ve been doing the last 12 years. I’ve been standing up to my own party and fighting back a tax increase. I’ve been standing guard over the taxpayer’s money and holding government accountable for fraud and waste. I’ve been fighting against the disaster that was Obamacare, and I’ve been leading the Common Sense Initiative to cut government red tape by changing or eliminating over 7,500 job-killing regulations.
“And I’ve done all of this while fighting through the hell that has been my sons’ fights with addiction. What have you been doing, Mike DeWine, besides handing out ice cream and recipes and building a revisionist history of your own record?”
The last line is really biting as DeWine’s political career has included a folksy charm with him having annual ice-cream socials at his home and his wife Fran’s recipe booklet.
Taylor’s campaign kept up the criticism a day later, this time calling out DeWine for “his amnesty votes [as a U.S. senator] tied to heinous crimes committed by illegal immigrants in Ohio.”
Taylor has also gone after DeWine for not giving a direct answer on whether he supports Medicaid expansion.
Taylor has said she doesn’t and never supported it. However, the DeWine campaign provided articles that had Taylor quoted as defending Gov. John Kasich’s decision to expand Medicaid.
With the primary on May 8, this race is sure to escalate leading to that day.