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Gubernatorial candidate Husted seeks to make Ohio more business-friendly

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted promised to bring back the American Dream to Ohioans and make the state more business-friendly if elected governor next year, in an interview today with The Blade.

“There are a couple of ways we are going to have to do that, it is job creation, education, and liberation from the federal government,” Mr. Husted said. “What I mean by that is we have to have a governor who focuses on creating a great business environment, just like I have done as secretary of state where I made it easier for people to file to create, start businesses in our state.”

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Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted

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Mr. Husted, a Republican who was formerly speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and now in his second term as secretary of state, announced his candidacy Sunday with an online video and a tweet. He followed up with an event the next day in Dayton, where he attended the University of Dayton and played football as part of the school's Division III National Championship team in 1989.

Mr. Husted attended the Williams County Lincoln Day Dinner Monday night, stayed over night in Maumee, and continued today to a “meet and greet” in Cleveland. He has additional events around the state through Thursday.

“I started the campaign in places I have a lot of deep roots — in Dayton where I represented in the legislature and Montpelier, where I grew up,” he said. “What a lot of people don't know about me, I was adopted. I started out in a foster home in Detroit and I was lucky to have two parents who gave me a great home to grow up in.”

Mr. Husted, 49, said many Ohioans “have been left behind” by globalization and automation.

“The two industries that have been hit hardest by globalization and automation are the agriculture industry and manufacturing and that is the economy of many people in northwest Ohio.... Since 1990, the average Ohioan has seen their income drop 17 percent and in Williams County it was the worst in the state — it was 27 percent, so they're struggling.”

Mr. Husted faces a crowded GOP field that includes Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci of Wadsworth, and will likely also include Attorney General Mike DeWine.

The campaign of the lieutenant governor issued a statement after Mr. Husted’s entry into the race.

“Lt. Governor Taylor has a track record of winning races she's not supposed to win, in fact in 2006, Mary Taylor was the only Republican to win a statewide race,” the statement read. “It's good to have competition. Decisions about the future of Ohio should be made by the voters, not in backrooms... Jobs, jobs, and education, jobs and common sense regulatory reform, jobs and infrastructure, and more jobs for people. Mary Taylor's message is pretty clear.”

Mr. Husted is also pushing jobs and education as part of his platform.

“The winning formula for helping businesses succeed and helping people get ahead is doing a better job at preparing them for life, [and] for the economy through our vocational educational system; making college more affordable, but also making sure kids who aren't prepared get the early childhood education they need to have a good start,” he said.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com or 419-724-6171 or on Twitter @IgnazioMessina.

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