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Fourth Democrat enters 2018 governor's race

By MARC KOVAC Capital Bureau Chief Published: March 15, 2017 12:00 AM

COLUMBUS -- Another Democrat has entered the 2018 gubernatorial race, adding her name to what's expected to be a crowded primary for both parties.

Former state Rep. Connie Pillich (D-Cincinnati), who ran unsuccessfully for state treasurer in 2014, announced her candidacy via an online video March 13.

"I learned in the Air Force that no matter what the challenge, if you work together and face it head on, you can make a difference," Pillich said in a released statement. "Too many in Ohio are hurting. Our strained communities are looking for new leaders willing to stand for something larger than themselves."

She added, "We as Democrats have got to reclaim our status as patriots, we cannot be afraid to stand up for our values. We believe individual liberty and shared responsibility lead to equal opportunity. We need new, progressive and unflinching leadership to improve our schools, rebuild our infrastructure, bring back industry and the jobs that can support a family."

Pillich served three years in the Ohio House before her unsuccessful bid to unseat Republican state Treasurer Josh Mandel. She has a law degree from the University of Cincinnati and a master's of business administration from the University of North Dakota. She also served eight years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force, including support roles in Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

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Pillich joins former Congresswoman Betty Sutton, Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) and former Wayne County Commissioner Dave Kiefer among Democrats who have announced their candidacies for governor. Schiavoni planned an official campaign kickoff March 13 in Youngstown.

Other Democrats mentioned as possible top-of-the-ticket candidates include former Attorney General Richard Cordray, former state Sen. Nina Turner and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor has formed a gubernatorial campaign committee. Attorney General Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Jon Husted and Congressman Jim Renacci also are eying the governor's race.

Marc Kovac covers the Ohio Statehouse for Gatehouse Media. Contact him at mkovac@recordpub.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.


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