Well, as we and everybody else knew he would, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced his candidacy for governor over the weekend. What, after all of these years, is an Ohio election without Mike on the ballot running for something? He has struck such positive accord with Ohio’s editorial writers with his feel-good non-confrontational behavior that the gurus are already projecting him as the Republican nominee for the governor’s office in 2018. That’s what is expected of us in Ohio’s political culture.

His official announcement came at his annual DeWine Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Social in his hometown of Cedarville. The place is also the home of Cedarville University, a strict Baptist school with its stated mission “grounded in the Bible,” where Mike once taught. The event would have amounted to a bribe for liberals like me who dream regularly of Italy’s gelato.

DeWine is one of those politicians who doesn’t mind spreading his goodwill around. In 2012 he first endorsed Tim Pawlenty, and then Mitt Romney when Pawlenty dropped out. And to everyone’s surprise, he abandoned Romney and endorsed Rick Santorum when he was convinced that Santorum would carry Ohio.

Santorum didn’t pull through, despite Summit County Republican Chairman Alex Arshinkoff’s devotion to the idea with his own poll that showed Santorum well ahead.

This time, DeWine will face at least a tougher contest against other Republicans with similar dreams of ascendancy in the Trump Era: Secretary of State Jim Husted, who has been tinkering and tampering with Ohio’s voter rolls for years to the GOP’s advantage, and U.S. Rep. Jim
Renacci, a rich Trump surrogate from Medina who entered his candidacy on a motorcycle. Ideologically, they’re all from the same litter.

Somehow, I wish Santorum was an Ohioan who could enter the race. He always makes things more interesting.