Hope in the virtually complete Republican sweep of Ohio statewide government in Tuesday’s midterm election can be found in one of the many television ads aired by the Mike DeWine campaign.
In that ad, Mr. DeWine’s daughter Anna told voters, “My dad has a caring heart, and we need that now more than ever.”
Ohio needs a caring heart, and Mr. DeWine, who will be 72 when he takes office, has shown over his long career so far that he is a decent and compassionate man.
Ohio voters elected Mr. DeWine, the state attorney general, over Democrat Richard Cordray, former head of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to succeed term-limited Gov. John Kasich, also a Republican.
While he is decent and compassionate, that didn’t stand in the way of Mr. DeWine running a blitz of scary TV commercials that painted Mr. Cordray in a harsh light.
Mr. Cordray ran a vigorous and issues-specific campaign that promised an administration that would have been good for the cities and small towns. Unfortunately, Mr. Cordray hurt himself with his endorsement of Issue 1, the proposed Constitutional amendment to abolish prison terms for low-level drug offenses, which put him on the opposite side of law enforcement in Ohio.
Mr. DeWine said he is a problem-solver, and Ohioans have seen evidence of that skill. His taking of responsibility for the sexual-assault evidence known as rape kits that were sitting on police shelves all over the state demonstrated that capacity.
He has lots of problems to solve.
He promised to preserve the Medicaid expansion and health insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. He strongly emphasized children’s issues, which should lead to legislation that leads to better schools, better child health care, and better protection against sexual predators. He needs to clean up the lake and make sure that some of the prosperity radiates out of booming Columbus into the forgotten communities.
As a candidate and as attorney general, and when he was a U.S. Senator, Mr. DeWine maintained contact with the whole state. Mr. DeWine will not be a stranger to northwest Ohio.
He takes over the helm of a state government that has failed to move Ohio forward in a meaningful way, while serving as a playground for lobbyists and their willing Republican partners in elective office.
Republicans escaped punishment for the debacle of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow online charter school - for now.
Ohio’s state capital has become tinged by a culture of corruption and could use some nonpartisan attention to legal and ethical propriety.
Mr. DeWine, to the extent possible, must leave his Republican party affiliation outside the governor’s office door. He needs to be a governor who fights for all of Ohio.
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