After nearly two years of traveling the state in preparation for this moment, Lucas County Auditor Larry Kaczala yesterday officially entered the race for Ohio secretary of state.
Surrounded by Lucas County Republican Chairman Pat Kriner and fellow GOP county auditors, Mr. Kaczala, 44, announced his intention in Toledo to seek the Republican nomination to what is expected to be the only wide-open statewide elected office in 2002.
“When I was sworn in as president of the county auditors association, I knew that throughout 2000 I'd be traveling around the state representing auditors,” said the attorney and former city councilman. “I decided to tie the two together.”
He used the speaking engagements and meetings in hopes of building a base of support among the GOP rank and file across the state.
As a special committee yesterday debated punch-card ballots, Mr. Kaczala said he plans to make election reform the cornerstone of his campaign, focusing on technology.
“I'd like to take the local boards of elections data in any form and massage it into a useable form to allow people to follow an election and candidate precinct by precinct,” he said. “That would allow predictions to be made before the final votes are counted.”
Mr. Kaczala first won a seat on city council in 1991 and was appointed two years later to fill a vacancy in the county auditor's office. He was elected to the post in his own right in 1994 and re-elected in 1998. The only elected Republican county officer, his second term expires next year.
He and his wife, Gina, live in Toledo.