CINCINNATI — Jerry Springer has decided against throwing his chair into the ring.
The TV talk show host and former Cincinnati mayor announced in his weekly podcast recorded Wednesday that he won’t join the race for the 2018 Democratic nomination for governor in Ohio.
Springer had been considering the race for months, and said he had “a real possibility of winning” in an era of celebrity political successes highlighted by Republican Donald Trump’s election as president last year.
“It was like the perfect storm,” Springer said, saying polling and focus groups led him to believe he could win. But then, he said, he considered the time he would need to devote, his family responsibilities, and the fact that he would be nearly 75 when he took office, if elected.
As a “husband, father and grandfather,” he didn’t want to make a five-year commitment of campaigning and then governing a four-year term. He called his decision “purely personal,” but also said he didn’t want to be a distraction for other Democrats in the race.
At least a half dozen other Democrats are running or considering runs for the job held by second-term Republican Gov. John Kasich, who is term-limited.
The former Cincinnati news anchorman has hosted “The Jerry Springer Show” for 26 years. It’s a raucous show with public airings of guests’ personal dramas amid chair-tossing, brawls and heated accusations of infidelity. He depicted the circus-like atmosphere in the 1998 movie “The Ringmaster.”
Springer was a Cincinnati councilman who made a political comeback after a prostitution scandal to become mayor in 1977.
He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic governor nomination in 1982 and has flirted with other statewide runs in more recent years.