Possible Statewide Candidates Audition For 2018

Jul 26, 2016

PHILADELPHIA – One eternal truth of presidential nominating conventions, whether Democratic or Republican, is that they are places where statewide candidates are born.

An event like the Ohio delegation is experiencing this week in Philadelphia is one of the few times that nearly all of the Ohio Democratic Party's most influential leaders and hardest workers are gathered in one place for nearly a week.

It gives ambitious politicians who are thinking about running for statewide office in 2018 a chance to make themselves known to Democrats from all regions of the state.

Two of them spoke at the Ohio delegation breakfast Tuesday morning – State Rep. Kathleen Clyde of Kent and Steve Dettelbach, the former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, based in Cleveland.

Clyde is running this year for her fourth and final term in the Ohio House. She has been a strong critic of measures in the Ohio General Assembly and in the office of Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, which she says have amounted to voter suppression.

She has traveled throughout the state speaking to groups concerned about voting rights – good exposure for a potential statewide candidate.

Clyde is being talked about in Ohio Democratic circles as a likely candidate for Ohio Secretary of State in 2018. It would be an open seat, since Husted can't run again and is likely to run in a GOP primary for governor.

Tuesday morning, Clyde told WVXU she has yet to make up her mind about running to become Ohio's chief elections officer.

"Right now, I'm running for my fourth term in the Ohio House and I'm also focusing my attention on doing everything I can to help make Hillary Clinton the president of the United States," Clyde said.

"I am honored by all the talk, but we have plenty of time to think about that," Clyde said. "I'll consider it after this election is over."

Speaking to WVXU after his breakfast speech, Dettelbach was much more frank about his ambitions.

"Yes, I'm seriously considering it," Dettelbach said of running for Ohio attorney general.

That seat, too, will be open in 2018. The incumbent Republican, Mike DeWine has already announced his candidacy for governor.

"I'm starting to talk to a lot of people around the state about it," Dettelbach said. "It's been something I've been thinking about for a long time. But the most important thing is 2016 and what happens in this presidential race."