The GOP primary is still nine months off, but former Kettering resident and University of Dayton football standout Jon Husted scooped up endorsements Friday from more than two dozen prominent Miami Valley Republicans, an indication he has made inroads with a deep well of local elected officials.
Husted, who is in his second term as Ohio Secretary of State, gained the backing of state Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, state Reps. Niraj Antani of Miamisburg and Mike Henne of Clayton, the mayors of Centerville, Kettering, Oakwood, Vandalia and West Carrollton, six trustees from three different townships, eight councilmen from four different cities and others.
Related: Jon Husted running for Ohio governor
The governor’s race has started to heat up, and TV ads backing Husted began airing Thursday. He is running against Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, Attorney General Mike DeWine and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci in next May’s GOP primary. DeWine lives in Cedarville and also has deep ties to the area as a former Greene County prosecutor.
On the Democratic side, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley is also running for governor.
“I’ve had a great relationship over the years with the people of the Dayton area,” Husted said in a press release. “As a UD Flyer and as a state representative, the people of this community have always supported me, and I’m honored that they are supporting me in my run for governor.”
Husted, 50, of suburban Columbus, lived in the Dayton area for many years. At the University of Dayton, Husted played cornerback on the 1989 Division III national championship team and later served as an aide to then Montgomery County commissioner Don Lucas. He also represented Kettering in the Ohio General Assembly from 2000 to 2010.
Ohio Conservatives for Change, a super PAC backing Husted for governor, raised $1.3 million from four donors between April and June. The group is mailing to Ohio voters a Husted biographical piece, running digital ads and unveiled a 60-second TV ad during the Ohio State University football game Thursday. The ad campaign is slated to run for a month.