Section: News

Meet the candidates running for governor of Ohio

Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) will be concluding his term as governor in 2018 because he has reached his term limit. Kenyon Democrats hosted a forum with two of the Democratic candidates, Nan Whaley and Joe Schiavoni, on Oct. 6. Here is the full list of candidates running for Kasich’s seat in the election on Nov. 6:


Nan Whaley

Nan Whaley is currently the mayor of Dayton, Ohio. She was a three-time delegate for Ohio to the Democratic National Convention, where she served as a presidential elector prior to becoming mayor.Whaley was elected mayor of Dayton in 2013; she has been active in addressing the opioid crisis and accessibility issues in the city. According to her website, Whaley says she would focus on the development of individual Ohio communities, which she feels are treated as “invisible to this governor and politicians in Columbus. Whaley advocates for a strengthened manufacturing industry and workforce. She feels supporting manufacturing causes could help Democrats appeal to a greater majority of voters in a state that has been long held by Republicans.

Joe Schiavoni

Joe Schiavoni currently serves in the Ohio Senate, representing the 33rd District, which consists of Columbiana and Mahoning counties.

He was elected in 2008. Schiavoni has served as minority whip and minority leader during his time in the Ohio Senate.

He ran unopposed for re-election in 2014, but cannot run in 2018 due to term limits. While in the Ohio Senate, Schiavoni has prioritized education and child welfare policies. He has written legislation that would strengthen oversight of charter schools. Schiavoni has also created policy which acts to strengthen collective bargaining rights for workers, as well as funding water treatment plants and waste management facilities within the state, among other matters.

Betty Sutton

Betty Sutton represented Ohio’s 13th Congressional District in the House of Representatives from 2006 to 2012. During her time in the House, she supported the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the State Children’s Health Insurance Act (SCHIP), which supports families with children who cannot afford health insurance. In 2013, she was appointed by President Obama to lead the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, which works to maintain and develop the part of Saint Lawrence Seaway between Lake Erie and Montreal. Sutton returned to Ohio after the election of President Donald Trump. She prioritizes energy and the environment and she supported the development of more advanced lithium-ion batteries to be used in hybrid and electric cars.

Connie Pillich

Connie Pillich is a former member of the Ohio House of Representatives, where she represented the 28th district from 2009-2014. Pillich is an Air Force veteran who failed to win the 28th district in 2014 after redistricting. Early in her second term as a representative, Pillich cosponsored a bill that would give tax breaks to businesses that increase their payrolls and expand into vacant facilities. Pillich ran unsuccessfully for treasurer of Ohio in 2014. In the video announcing her candidacy,  she states, “We need new progressive and unflinching leadership, we cannot be afraid to stand up for our values.” Pillich is running on a platform of renewing a sense of Democratic political strength. Pillich wants to address the economic issues which she feels have hurt average Ohioans during the last eight years.


Mary Taylor

Mary Taylor is the 65th and current Ohio lieutenant governor. She was elected in 2010 with current governor of Ohio, John Kasich.

Before she became lieutenant governor, Taylor worked as an Ohio State Auditor from 2007 to 2011 and was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 2003 to 2006.

During the 2016 presidential election primaries, Taylor was one of the 66 delegates from Ohio who pledged their support to Kasich.

Taylor has expressed strong interest in repealing the Affordable Care Act and implementing a “fiscally sustainable” healthcare plan for Ohio, according to her campaign website.

Mike DeWine

Mike DeWine is the 50th and current attorney general of Ohio.

Before DeWine was elected as attorney general, he was a state senator from 1981 to 1982, a U.S. representative from 1982 to 1991, lieutenant governor from 1991 to 1994 and a member of the U.S. Senate from 1995 to 2007.

As attorney general, DeWine spearheaded efforts to improve policing surrounding sexual misconduct cases with the creation of the Crimes against Children unit. DeWine wishes to curb excessive taxes and bring more jobs to Ohio, according to his campaign’s website.

While working in Congress, DeWine fought against the use of federal tax dollars to pay for insurance that can cover abortion procedures.

Jim Renacci

Renacci is the congressional representative for Ohio’s 16th District where he serves on the Ways and Means Committee and the House Budget Committee. He was first elected in 2010 and was  re-elected in 2016. Before his election to the House of Representatives, Renacci was the mayor of Wadsworth, Ohio.

Renacci is a strong advocate for Second Amendment rights and repealing the Affordable Care Act. He also believes in defunding sanctuary cities.

“As an American born to a family of immigrants I’m alarmed by it, and as your next Governor I will not cower to it,” he wrote in an editorial for

Jon Husted

Jon Husted was born in Royal Oak, Mich. and raised in Williams County, Ohio.

He was elected to be the 53rd and current Secretary of State for Ohio in November 2010 and was re-elected in 2014.

While serving as Secretary of State, Husted was involved in a Supreme Court lawsuit for limiting early voting during the 2016 presidential election.

Before his election as Secretary of State, Husted worked in the Ohio House of Representatives as Speaker of the House.

As the only Ohio statewide-elected official with an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association, Husted is an ardent supporter of Second Amendment rights.


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