XENIA — Greene County is the home of Ohio’s next governor.
Cedarville resident Mike DeWine overcame a strong start by Democrat Richard Cordray to win the hotly contested race. With just a few hundred precincts left to count, DeWine was winning, 2,142,449-1,929,290, according to unofficial results posted by the State of Ohio Board of Elections.
DeWine spoke with the Gazette shortly after 11 and indicated he received a concession call from Cordray as well as congratulatory calls from President Trump, Vice President Pence and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
“This campaign was a real roller coaster,” DeWine said. “Very happy. There were many a day where we thought we weren’t going to win. And some days we thought we were gonna win. It was a very, very tough campaign. I’m very grateful for all the people who supported me. We have some great volunteers. Our Greene County volunteers are just amazing. I’m looking forward now to serving the people of the state as governor.”
DeWine said he is ready to move Ohio forward.
“Tonight our greatest journey begins,” he told his crowd of supporters in Columbus. “And as we begin this journey, we must work — not as Democrats or as Republicans — but as Ohioans — Ohioans united around our shared mission to ensure that every person has the opportunity to live their dreams and fulfill their God-given potential.
“We must put our differences behind us and work together to overcome our state’s challenges. As governor, I will bring people together — Republicans, Democrats, Independents — to move this state farther than it has ever gone before because the fundamental beliefs and core values that we share truly transcend party politics.”
DeWine, 71, is the current Ohio Attorney General, in office since January 2011. Prior to that he served as a U.S. Senator, lieutenant governor, U.S. Congressman, a state representative and state senator. He’s also a former Greene County prosecutor.
One of his priorities is the war on drugs, specifically opioids. He asked for the support of residents to help win that battle.
”Come with us as we help Ohio’s sons and daughters who suffer from the disease of addiction and whose purpose in life has been interrupted by opiates, alcohol, and other drugs,” he said. “Come with us as we will double-down on the Mexican drug cartels and give our sheriffs, police, and prosecutors the resources they need to fight back.”
He is also ready to put Ohioans to work. Both candidates agreed there’s a “skills gap” between the many jobs that employers have available and the abilities of Ohio’s unemployed and underemployed.
DeWine touted his “Ohio Prosperity Plan,” which he says would ensure that high school students are either college-ready or career-ready when they graduate. People would be able to earn occupational licenses and industry certificates to obtain the skills for high-tech jobs, he said. Regional job-training partnerships with businesses, educators and community leaders would be created.
“And come with us, as we put more Ohioans to work and make this state the biggest jobs generator in America and make the state of Ohio the state of opportunity,” DeWine said.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.