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Dennis Kucinich And Connie Pillich Both Announce Running Mates

Connie Pillich/Facebook

By the end of the week, all five Democratic gubernatorial candidates will have announced their running mates, as former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduces his pick for lieutenant governor just one day after former state Rep. Connie Pillich announced her choice.

Kucinich announced his selection of Akron councilwoman Tara Samples as his running mate, calling her "dynamic" at a event at the Burning Bush Church in Akron on Friday.

On Thursday, Pillich chose Scott Schertzer, the mayor of Marion and president of the Ohio Municipal League, as her lieutenant governor pick. Schertzer says he and Pillich have something in common.

“I’ve been very successful in a red/purple county,” Schertzer said. “As a Democrat, I’ve done very well in my mayoral races and city council races. And I think I have a deep understanding and appreciation for the needs, wants and concerns or rural voters.”

Schertzer also has a background in public education – he taught for 13 years before becoming mayor of the Central Ohio city 10 years ago.

Candidates in the Ohio governor race have until February 7 to declare their candidacies, name running mates and gather required signatures.

Kucinich and Pillich are part of a crowded field of Democrats, which include state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau chief Richard Cordray, and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill. Former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton and Dayton mayor Nan Whaley were also running, but Sutton joined Cordray's campaign as his running mate, and Whaley dropped out to endorse Cordray too.

Only Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor are left on the Republican side of the field. Of the Democratic and Republican campaigns, every ticket has at least one woman on it—except for DeWine.

Gabe Rosenberg joined WOSU in October 2016. As digital news editor, Gabe reports breaking news and edits all content for the WOSU website, as well as manages the station's social media accounts.
Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.