COLUMBUS — It was far from a secret, but state Rep. John Carney (D., Columbus) on Tuesday formally announced his bid to unseat Republican Dave Yost as state auditor next year.
“This campaign is about making sure the American Dream is achievable for every Ohioan,” said the attorney, who is serving in his final term as state representative. “I believe in good government that works for the best interest of taxpayers and invests in them, their family, and their local community.”
Mr. Carney, 37, was the last of the Democratic non-judicial statewide slate to announce his candidacy.
He has been a major critic of JobsOhio, Gov. John Kasich’s private nonprofit economic development entity, specifically pushing Mr. Yost to audit it.
Mr. Yost, a former Delaware County prosecutor, was elected auditor in 2010 as part of a GOP sweep of statewide offices.
He rankled some within his party by subpoenaing records for an audit of JobsOhio, which has leased the state’s profitable liquor wholesale business to help finance its job-creation efforts.
Mr. Carney was elected to the state House in 2008, winning a seat previously held by a Republican.
As an attorney, he has focused on health-care law.
Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges went after Mr. Carney on Tuesday by trying to link him to fellow state Rep. Kevin Boyce (D., Columbus).
A former deputy under Mr. Boyce when he was state treasurer was recently indicted for allegedly accepting bribes from a broker to steer lucrative state business his way.
Mr. Boyce, who has not been charged, was appointed to a vacancy in the House by Mr. Carney and other House Democrats after he lost the 2010 treasurer’s election.
“Unfortunately, Carney's record shows he can't be trusted to be the state's top fiscal watchdog,” Mr. Borges said. “He's been running for auditor for the past 18 months, launching the Democrats' political attacks while ignoring corruption in his own party.”
Of all of the statewide races, the Yost-Carney race is the most competitive financially.
According to campaign finance reports covering fund-raising through July 1, Mr. Yost had $520,673 in the bank compared to Mr. Carney’s $449,809.
— Jim Provance