This year’s award for most contentious statewide race has to go to the campaign for Attorney General. Both Republican incumbent Mike DeWine and Democrat challenger David Pepper have slung their fair share of mud.
However, cutting through the rhetoric, the only thing that matters is which one would best serve the needs of Ohio. DeWine, though not the perfect candidate, has proved time and again that he knows what Ohio needs from its chief legal officer.
As the state’s 50th attorney general, DeWine has decreased the turn-around times for DNA analysis from 125 days when he took office in January 2011 to about 22 days now. He has also pushed to test thousands of rape kits that had been sitting on police department shelves for decades, which resulted in more than 209 arrests and police have identified more than 40 serial rapists from the results.
DeWine has also agressively attacked the state’s heroin and prescription drug abuse problem; launched an elder abuse initiative; created a Crimes Against Children Unit in his office; and is working to reduce human trafficking.
He has had some missteps as well. For example, the Beavercreek Wal-Mart police shooting was mishandled. He should have released the video in a more timely fashion.
While Pepper has waged a hard campaign, he has failed to show why he should replace DeWine. Perhaps he should have spent less time and resources attacking DeWine and more explaining to voters why they should vote for him.
Regardless, DeWine is a capable attorney general and there is no need to change the direction he is heading so voters should re-elect him Tuesday.