MEDINA — The “I Like Mike” campaign made a stop here Monday night.
Republican Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who is running for governor next year, met with about 50 supporters at Amuse Euro Bistro, 108 Public Square.
Concerning his platform, DeWine, 70, said he wants to create jobs and do something about the opioid epidemic.
“No one is a bigger salesperson for the state of Ohio than I am,” he said. “Finding a good job solves a lot of problems.”
He said “there are some dynamic things going on at vocational centers. To be happy, you have to find passion to do something and do it well.”
DeWine said most of the new jobs in the state will come from within, not from out of state, and noted employers are facing huge obstacles.
The attorney general, who lives in Cedarville, said employers can’t find people who want to work, have the necessary skills and can pass drug tests.
The drug epidemic is taking an economic toll on the state, he said.
“We’re losing about 15 people a day to drug overdoses (in Ohio),” DeWine said. “Children are being born addicts. Our jails are detox centers. Drugs are having an economic impact on Ohio.”
He said the drug epidemic needs to be dealt with on the local level and he commended Medina County for its drug treatment facilities and programs.
DeWine said the focus has to be on prevention and education and it has to start at the kindergarten level with age-appropriate talks.
Former Speaker of the House Bill Batchelder spoke on the behalf of DeWine.
The Medina resident said he likes how DeWine operates.
“He made a difference in the Senate. He always looked out for the other guy. We’re very fortunate he’s running for governor.”
Batchelder said DeWine is the man to create jobs in Ohio.
“We need a governor that carries the burden of finding people jobs,” he said. “He’s tireless. He’s committed. …
“He knows what needs to be done at the state level,” Batchelder said.
Of his accomplishments, DeWine said he’s most proud of is his work in improving the inefficiency of processing DNA crime evidence. He said he couldn’t stand the snail’s pace at the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
“It was so slow,” he said. “Evidence sat there 125 days before anyone touched it.”
He said 13,000 old rape cases were retested using current DNA technology from around the state. He said they found matches on 38 percent of the cases.
“It was one of the most rewarding things I’ve done,” DeWine said. “I wanted to make a difference.”
Shelby Kacludis, who runs DeWine’s campaign in Medina County, said she’s confident DeWine will prevail in the gubernatorial race next year.
“He’s not going to have any trouble getting elected (in Ohio),” she said.
Other Republicans seeking the governor’s office next year are U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, of Wadsworth, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.
Four Democrats have announced their campaigns: state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, former state Rep. Connie Pillich and former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton.
Term limits prevent Gov. John Kasich from seeking another term.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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