Dewine for governor

When Ohioans go to the polls on Tuesday, they have many important choices to make. At the top of the list is a decision about who will be the Buckeye State’s next chief executive.

Republican Gov. John Kasich is term-limited and cannot seek re-election. During his eight years in office, Kasich has guided the state through some trying times. He also has led the charge to bring a multi-billion-dollar investment to the local region by working to persuade PTT Global Chemical to build an ethane cracker plant at Dilles Bottom.

Now that Kasich must step aside, Republican Mike DeWine is ready to step into the office and continue building on that progress.

DeWine has a long record of service to Ohio, having been a county prosecutor, a member of the Ohio Senate, a representative in the U.S. House and a member of the U.S. Senate. He previously served as lieutenant governor alongside former Gov. George Voinovich. He is the state’s current attorney general, a post he has held since 2011.

As our chief law enforcement officer, DeWine knows firsthand the challenges the state faces due to the nationwide opioid crisis. He opposes Issue 1, which appears on the ballot Tuesday and aims to reduce overcrowding in prisons. But that measure also would make all drug possession offenses misdemeanors and would limit judges’ sentencing authority in drug cases.

Instead, DeWine says he has his own 12-point plan for dealing with the epidemic of addiction. His approach to the issue so far has not been limited to the traditional law enforcement role; in addition to prosecuting offenders, he stresses the importance of treatment for addicts as well.

DeWine also acted decisively while in the U.S. Senate, sending federal resources to the state to help ensure that thousands of “rape kits” in police department storage rooms across the state would be tested. He advanced those efforts as attorney general, resulting in about 4,600 assailants being identified from the DNA found in those kits.

If elected, DeWine pledges to provide tax relief, to reform public schools and make sure they are safe and to improve health care and ensure that Ohioans with low incomes and/or pre-existing conditions have access to insurance coverage.

The Times Leader endorses DeWine for governor and urges Eastern Ohio residents to vote for him on Tuesday.