It's official - Pepper is a candidate for Ohio AG

Apr 15, 2013

Former Hamilton County commissioner and Cincinnati councilman David Pepper has launched his campaign to unseat Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Monday, his campaign filed papers with the Ohio Secretary of State's office, so he can begin raising money for the 2014 campaign; and has launched a campaign website.

Pepper, who was in Cleveland Monday, told WVXU he wants "to be a real advocate for the working people of Ohio."

He also said he would make the attorney general's office "less ideological, less political" than DeWine - citing a recent letter by the Republican attorney general in which he said he supports exempting private employers, if they object on religious grounds, from providing contraceptive coverage to employees.

Pepper's candidacy is no real surprise - Ohio Democratic Party leaders have been touting Pepper as a candidate for statewide office in 2014 for several months. And Pepper himself has been traveling the state, meeting with Democrats and others, ever since the 2010 election, when he ran for state auditor and lost to Republican Dave Yost.

Pepper was a Cincinnati city councilman in 2005 when he ran for Cincinnati mayor. He lost that election to fellow Democrat Mark Mallory, but came back the next year to run for county commissioner and unseated incumbent Republican Phil Heimlich.

But, instead of running for re-election as county commissioner, he ran for state auditor in 2010 - a year when the Democrats were swept out of all the statewide constitutional offices.

DeWine was elected Ohio attorney general that year. His election came four years after DeWine was ousted from the U.S. Senate by Democrat Sherrod Brown.