News broke Wednesday that Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted are teaming up in the 2018 Ohio Gubernatorial race for the Same Old Thing Ticket.
Both DeWine and Husted have been in power in Ohio for decades and under their watch the Buckeye State has suffered endlessly. Stagnating wages, pay-to-play corruption in Columbus, the rigging of elections through gerrymandering, voter suppression and disenfranchisement, attacks on workers, attacks women’s rights, attacks on LGBTQ+ equality, an out-of-control opioid epidemic that has Ohio leading in overdose deaths, it’s all happened while DeWine and Husted have been on the clock.
Ohio Democratic Party Chair David Pepper said Thursday that DeWine and Husted are the worst possible ticket to deliver change in Columbus.
“Ohio’s schools have fallen from fifth in the country to 22nd amid a for-profit charter school scandal, our job growth has trailed the national average for 59 straight months and we lead the nation in overdose deaths – all under DeWine and Husted’s watch,” Pepper said. “It’s not a surprise to see them team up; they are part of the status quo Columbus insiders who have left behind so many communities and families across our state in the decades they’ve been in office.”
Those of us who live in these communities know this because we live every day with the consequences of their failures.
“Today’s announcement merely turns up the heat on what has been a rancorous, nasty Republican primary, as all of the candidates are running hard to the right, embracing Trumpism and rejecting Republican Gov. John Kasich,” Pepper said.
Pepper also provided a list of the dubious duo’s worst hits:
DeWine and Husted have both rejected the Affordable Care Act and refused to back Medicaid expansion, which has helped more than 700,000 Ohioans gain health coverage.
As of this posting, former Congresswoman Betty Sutton and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley also put out releases slamming this Ghost of Failures Past ticket.
“It is not surprising that these two insiders would team up,” Sutton said. “The Republican ticket for governor of stale and staler means that Ohio government would remain on the side of big corporations and not people. Theirs is a ticket of the past, not the future of Ohio. My bold vision to make Ohio the opportunity state offers a stark contrast for the voters next November. Status quo vs. change. ”
Whaley also released a statement from spokesperson Faith Oltman.
“Just what Ohioans don’t need. Another decade of bad ideas from two rusted Republican politicians who, together, have been running for office for nearly 60 years,” she said. “This is the same party that’s had 25 years of running Ohio without getting it right. It’s the same GOP that hasn’t created jobs – only created a culture of corruption, and Ohioans aren’t better off.”
Oltman said that in stark contrast, Whaley is working every day to tackle Ohio’s challenges head-on.
“She’s holding the big drug companies accountable for the heroin crisis. She has a plan to create jobs and to restore respect in the dignity of work – just like she’s done in Dayton,” Oltman said. “She is a bold, fresh leader for the new future of Ohio. That’s what we need.”
The Democratic Governors Association issued a release Thursday noting that Husted has officially given up on his “New Generation of Leadership” idea.
By joining DeWine’s, Husted has abandoned his campaign slogan of “a new generation of leadership,” the DGA release said. Husted once jabbed at DeWine’s age, saying “‘new’ would not be the way to describe that.” He now says they will be “working together as a team in this mission.”
But Husted’s slogan was never anything more than empty rhetoric: Husted and DeWine support the same, tired politics-as-usual. And they’ve both spent the primary cozying up to President Trump and endorsing far-right positions such as undoing Gov. Kasich’s Medicaid expansion.
“As Jon Husted himself once said, ‘New would not be the way to describe’ this ticket,” said DGA Press Secretary Melissa Miller. “Ohio voters are ready for change, not the failed status quo of the same-old DeWine-Husted ticket. Now that DeWine and Husted have put aside their petty insults and joined forces, the race to the right is on.”
This story will be updated as other reactions are released.