COLUMBUS — Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine and Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted are on the same page on at least one thing: They’re not ready to publicly talk about whether they’re going to run for governor in 2018.
Asked (again) Wednesday about whether they’d appear on the statewide ballot next year, both (again) said they’d defer comment until a later date.
“There will be a time and a place to make the announcement,” DeWine said. “This is probably not the time.”
Husted added, “I hope you would understand that this is probably not the time to make that kind of announcement.”
But both also said they were comfortable with the current state of their campaign coffers, which will back their efforts to sway voters’ support for their future elections. Annual campaign finance reports were filed earlier this week.
“You saw the campaign reports yesterday, the financial reports,” said Husted, whose campaign reported nearly $852,000 in contributions and more than $2.5 million on hand. “I think it’s safe to say that I’m working at it and a lot of people support [me].”
DeWine, whose campaign reported contributions of nearly $976,000 and a balance on hand of $2.5 million-plus, added, “I’m very happy with where we are in our preparation to make an announcement. We’re very happy with the filing that we had….”
The two and Republican Auditor Dave Yost participated in a panel discussion Columbus as part of the Ohio Associated Press’ 2017 Legislative and Political Preview.
DeWine, Husted, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and northeast Ohio Congressman Jim Renacci are among the Republicans rumored to be considering gubernatorial runs. They join a similarly lengthy list of Democrats — Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni, former Attorney General Richard Cordray, former state Rep. Connie Pillich and others — who have been mentioned for the top of the 2018 ticket.
Only two current statewide officeholders have formalized their plans for the next even-year general election: State Treasurer Josh Mandel will again run for the U.S. Senate, challenging incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown, while state Auditor Dave Yost last month said he would run for attorney general.
Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau chief. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.