Update May 7, 2017: Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted makes it official that he is running for governor. Get the latest news here
Earlier story from April 21, 2017: Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s as-yet-unannounced bid for governor moved forward today with the announcement that his office’s press secretary would join the Husted for Ohio campaign.
Josh Eck said his last day in the office was today and he will become a spokesman for the campaign.
“I have been a fan of Jon Husted’s since before I worked for him. He’s been pretty clear that he’s looking at what the future holds for him and I want to be supportive of that future however I can,” Eck said.
“I think very highly of him and I think there are a lot of people in Ohio that think very highly of him.”
Husted formerly represented the Kettering area in the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate and also served as House Speaker.
He is one of several Republicans and Democrats who are expected to run in 2018.
“I think he will be making a decision here very shortly,” Eck said.
This week political analyst Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball publication said Ohio leans Republican for 2018 and that the GOP has a “strong bench” with Husted, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, all possible contenders.
Democrats who have said they are running or are interested include Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, former state representative Connie Pillich of Montgomery, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman and former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton of Copely.
“Sutton and Whaley are probably the most credible candidates in that group,” according to the Sabato report, published by the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
There is speculation that Dennis Kucinich, a former congressman and ex-Cleveland mayor, would throw his hat into the Democratic primary as well. He is appearing in Columbus and in Washington Twp. on Monday. He will talk about the privatization of public education and is not expected to announce a bid for governor at that time, said Andrew Wilson, a spokesman for Public Education Partners, which is organizing the local visit.
U.S. Consumer Finance Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, a former state attorney general and treasurer, is also seen as a potential contender in the Democratic primary.