COLUMBUS — Big decisions announced this past week made the second week of 2018 the political equivalent of professional golf’s “moving day,” or in this case moving week.
The first week of the year has seen multiple big news announcements — Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel dropping from the Senate race, Democratic Ohio Sen. Joe Schiavoni announcing his running mate — but this past week saw three gubernatorial candidates announce running mates, one gubernatorial candidate switch to run for U.S. Senate, a gubernatorial candidate join an opponent’s campaign and a gubernatorial candidate dropp from the race and another joining that race.
And that doesn’t include Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones, who had been courted to run for U.S. Senate last week, saying he’s not going to run, and Middletown native and “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance being asked to run Senate. Here’s a recap of this past week’s political moving day:
Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich announced on Monday he was going to run for Ohio governor in a then-crowded Democratic primary.
Kucinich, a former Cleveland mayor and city councilman, filed his paperwork with the Ohio Secretary of State on Monday to declare his candidacy.
Kucinich will now face Ohio Senator Joe Schiavoni, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill, former state lawmaker Connie Pillich and former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray.
The day Mandel announced on Jan. 5 that he was dropping out of the race for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, names of possible replacement candidates swirled around. Mandel was the presumptive front-runner, setting up a rematch of the 2012 Senate race against incumbent U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland.
Jones, who considered running for Congress in 2016 when former Speaker John Boehner announced his resignation in September 2015, said on Jan. 5 he was asked to consider running.
Five days of speculation later, Jones announced on Wednesday he would not run for U.S. Senate, saying he was already in his “dream job.”
Jones on Monday said he endorsed Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine for Ohio governor.
Vance’s name surfaced in Politico report that said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, is attempting to encourage the New York Times best-selling author to run for Senate.
In September, Vance rejected the idea of a Senate run, as reported by The Atlantic, but CNN reported this week Vance is now seriously considering a run.
Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill, who will be retiring from the bench, announced on Tuesday he’s picked a Cleveland grade school educator as his No. 2 in the race for governor.
Chantelle E. Lewis, of East Cleveland, a former city council member and school board member, is an elementary school principal in Lorain County. He said adding Lewis to his ticket is “a dream come true,” and the 42-year-old educator, who is black, brings a diversity and experience to his team that will resonate with Democratic voters.
While it was reported Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor announced Wednesday that Hamilton businessman Nathan Estruth would join her gubernatorial campaign as a candidate for lieutenant governor.
Estruth, 50, retired on Wednesday from Procter & Gamble in order to join the campaign.
The father of four led the Hamilton-based iMFLUX, an injection molding technology company, since May 2013. Prior to that job he was the P&G FutureWorks vice president. He also served on the Alliance Defending Freedom board from 2007 to 2014, and the Southern Poverty Law Center designated ADF as “a hate group.” Alliance Defending Freedom describes itself as a conservative Christian nonprofit organization that advocates issues of “religious freedom, sanctity of life, and marriage and family.”
Cordray, who led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau until November, joined forces with former congresswoman Betty Sutton. Sutton, who abandoned her campaign for governor, is now Cordray’s lieutenant governor candidate.
The pair has been seen as the team to beat in the Democratic Party primary, and according to the Associated Press, should draw national Democratic support.
This paring also matched what DeWine and Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted did as they were once GOP gubernatorial opponents. They joined forces last November with Husted running as DeWine’s No. 2.
Ohio Sen. Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City, called the pairing “a dream team.”
Congressman Jim Renacci’s campaign said if President Donald Trump asked, he will run for U.S. Senate and abandon his bid for Ohio governor.
Trump asked, and Renacci switched races.
The move was announced on Thursday, but the decision was made on Wednesday.
Renacci’s previous lieutenant governor pick, Cincinnati Councilwoman Amy Murray, will chair his Senate campaign.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley not only ended her campaign for Ohio governor this week but threw her support behind Cordray, who was with her when she announced her withdrawal.
Whaley said she would continue to “fight, but not as your governor,” and encouraged fellow Democrats to support the Cordray-Sutton ticket.