John Kasich supports Mary Taylor as governor of Ohio. Will it help

The Ohio lieutenant governor wants a promotion to the top job, and she relies on her boss’s support to get there.

Here’s the problem: Lt. Governor Mary Taylor is a John Kasich-backed Republican – and the governor is not a popular guy in many parts of the GOP. Kasich shut down many Republicans for refusing to hug President Donald Trump. strong support for Medicaid expansion; and opposition to GOP efforts to replace Obamacare.

Kasich has been open about his support for Taylor to the other three Republicans who wanted to replace him when his second term ends in January 2019. Taylor must walk a fine line on the Trump Ohio campaign.

“I’m very welcome and want his support,” Taylor told The Enquirer as he fought in Cincinnati on Wednesday.

“The last six and a half years has been all about Kasich-and-Taylor and what Governor Kasich does,” added Taylor. “For me, this is Mary Taylor and the future of our state. Do I have differences? Yes, and when I put my guidelines in place, it becomes clear in which areas he and I are taking a different approach.”

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The Republican candidate for governor will take the victor among at least four running Democrats.

Here’s what you need to know about Taylor and the fellow Republicans in the race.

Lt. Governor Mary Taylor

Lives in: Uniontown, between Canton and Akron

Age: 51 years

Past political experience: Career started in Green City Council; Elected to the Ohio House in 2002; the only Republican woman elected to national office as a chartered accountant in 2006; has been Kasich’s lieutenant since his first election in 2010

What you need to know:

Taylor began her career as an accountant and until recently ran the state insurance division. Her husband, Don Taylor, is the President and CEO of a large commercial construction company in northeast Ohio.

Mary Taylor angered Kasich’s team at the Ohio Republican Party’s chairman race in January when she publicly endorsed Donald Trump-backed Jane Timken and switched support from Kasich-backed incumbent Matt Borges. Taylor is not in Kasich’s inner circle, but the governor has said he will still support her.

Taylor’s support for Timken came after the lieutenant governor dragged himself through the turmoil that clouded Trump’s campaign. After the Trump video surfaced, a Taylor spokesperson insisted she never endorsed him despite previously saying she would vote for him.

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Did Taylor start her gubernatorial campaign too late? She officially established a campaign committee this winter. Mike DeWine and Jon Husted have now been preparing for two years. There have been rumors that Taylor could end up running for Congress if Jim Renacci gets through and runs for governor in 2018 in lieu of Congress.

Regardless, Taylor’s opponents have a lot of fodder against them. She has been criticized for not wanting to spend much time in Columbus despite holding a seat in public office for more than 14 years. In 2011, Kasich Taylor ordered compensation to taxpayers for using a state plane to commute from their home to the state capital. .

Another Taylor-centered controversy surfaced in 2014 when it was discovered that two employees, including their then chief of staff, were recording questionable work hours on their time cards. The employees later resigned. In all, she had five chiefs of staff in less than three years.

Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine greeted supporters at his Cedarville, Ohio home on Sunday after announcing he was running for governor.  (AP Photo / Julie Carr Smyth)

Attorney General Mike DeWine

Residence: Cedarville

Age: 70 years

Other Political Experiences: Areas from Greene County Attorney to US Senator; was Lieutenant Governor under George Voinovich

What you need to know:

DeWine is the GOP leader simply because of its popularity and political pedigree. The run to governor – which he believes will be the high point of his career – will be his eighth time in a statewide ballot.

Then there is his donation: he is personally worth millions thanks to a family seed company he has inherited and has borrowed money for his own campaign in the past. And his campaign badges: The Kasich employee Dave Luketic is responsible for the administration of his campaign and is supported by the longstanding GOP employees and former elected representatives of the Batchelder Company. He received endorsement from one of Trump State’s biggest supporters, though some on the Trump team in Ohio are looking to Renacci.

A lifelong public service allows DeWine to list accomplishments that range from testing old rape kits to working on pediatric safety tests by pharmaceutical companies. His long résumé also opens him up to attack. He could be described as the ultimate government insider to turn Trump supporters against him. (DeWine supported Trump in the election and condemned Trump’s comments in the 2005 video while maintaining his approval.)

He could also be criticized for a few moments in his career in a GOP elementary school after his office rolled out a nationwide facial recognition system in 2013 without informing the public of the gun control positions, which earned him an endorsement of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in his unsuccessful Senate race against Democrat Sherrod Brown.

More recently, DeWine’s office has taken on the investigation into the Pike County’s murders, the largest homicide case in Ohio history, last year. Whether the murders remain unsolved could be part of his legacy.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted

Secretary of State Jon Husted

Residence: Columbus

Age: 49 years

Past Political Experience: Dayton State Representatives, including House Speakers; State Senator

What you need to know:

As a former all-American football player at the University of Dayton, Husted left a coaching career to go into politics.

He stayed in Dayton and began work on a Congressional campaign before joining the staff of a Montgomery County Commissioner. Husted joined the Dayton Chamber of Commerce where he built relationships with the Miami Valley area’s top business leaders and political funders. These relationships drove him to the statehouse in his early 30s.

As Secretary of State, Husted was more aggressive than his predecessors when attempting to crack down on election fraud. His office has used voter rolls and Bureau of Motor Vehicles records to identify voters who are not citizens.

Husted has some luggage. In 2008, problems with Husted’s permanent residence surfaced – be it in the Dayton or Columbus areas. He owned a house in Kettering but lived in a suburb of Columbus where his wife owned a house. Residence is important for voting purposes, and in 2009 the state’s Supreme Court ruled that his permanent residence was Kettering. Now he officially lives in Columbus as Secretary of State.

GOP circles are also rumbling with concern over Husted’s previous ties to political activists implicated in a federal investigation into alleged pay-for-play and kickback programs at the Ohio House. The federal government closed this case without charge.

In an attempt to win Trump’s supporters, Husted’s campaign aligned with Timken in their ultimately successful race for GOP chairman in Ohio. Husted also has allies on the GOP’s state central committee, a move that could pay off if the group votes on gubernatorial approval.

But Husted hasn’t always been as pro-Trump as his Timken support suggests. During the 2016 election, after the infamous video of Trump making lewd comments about women, Husted said he could not vote for Trump or his Democratic opponent Clinton. Instead, Husted relied on the vice-presidential nominees to make his decision, and Trump eventually got his vote for supporting Vice President Mike Pence.

The Tortured Way Ohio GOPers Answer Trump’s Question

Husted has less name recognition nationwide than DeWine. Even so, all of the voting-related commercials his office ran over the past year with Husted and repeatedly showing or pronouncing his name didn’t hurt.

Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth

US representative Jim Renacci:

Lives: Wadsworth, just outside Akron

Age: 58 years

Past Political Experience: Wadsworth Councilor and Mayor; in Congress since 2011

What you need to know:

Renacci has made his status as a self-made multimillionaire a favorite of some Trump supporters.

On Renacci’s team: Rob Scott, the Dayton area attorney who ran Trump’s main campaign in Ohio and helped run his general election campaign here.

“Ohio is hungry right now because Trump won a great victory with a great underdog in Columbus,” said Scott. “The other three (Republican candidates) have really been running for governor for years.”

Renacci made his millions owning nursing homes, car dealerships, and teams in both arena football and minor league baseball. Its Chevrolet dealership closed after General Motors, in collaboration with a federal government team that helped with the 2009 bankruptcy, terminated franchise agreements with hundreds of dealerships. Outraged by what he saw as government interference in his business, Renacci ran for Congress.

Renacci’s comparisons with Trump only go so far. Renacci is a CPA and doesn’t have much of Trump’s flair for drama. At a meeting this winter with representatives from some of Columbus’ largest corporations, he asked question after question about their effective corporate tax rates and how much their prices would rise if the government imposed a certain type of tax. And he wanted certain numbers, please.

Don’t expect Renacci to try to self-fund his a la Trump campaign despite having borrowed his campaign money in the past.

Renacci could be prone to wondering how to do favors for donors as a congressman. His name appeared in a federal trial in 2014. The government said one of its donors, Ben Suarez, marketer of “As Seen on TV,” plotted in 2011 to circumvent the limits of campaign funding and bring money to Renacci and then Senate nominee Josh Mandel. Renacci had written a letter on behalf of the donor, but returned the campaign donations after the investigation began. He was never charged. Suarez was acquitted of campaign funding fees and only convicted of witness manipulation.

In his bid for governor, Renacci will face a name recognition challenge outside of northeast Ohio. Additionally, his long business history could open him up to attacks related to legal proceedings he has faced.

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