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Monday, January 11, 2010

Mike DeWine vs. David Pepper for State Auditor: The Buzz is Building in Columbus

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Republicans are speculating today that former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine could abandon his comeback race for Ohio attorney general and switch to the contest for state auditor. That would put DeWine up against Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper, who apppears to have the Democratic nomination locked up. But here's the twist: Current State Auditor Mary Taylor is seeking reelection and for DeWine to run she'd have to go somewhere else. Where? Taylor reportedly is being courted as the lieutenant governor running mate for John Kasich. She is the only Republican who holds a statewide non-judicial office.

Third Base Politics, a right-leaning blog that is not friendly to Ohio's Democrats, raises what it believes are some possible ramifications of a Kasich-Taylor ticket, and notes effects down the line:

". . . if Kasich selects Taylor, a serious candidate must be chosen to run for Auditor. With Pepper only able to raise about 140k a month in his first two months of running, he isn't a threat to spend his way to victory - especially considering the Pepper family funded a little over 1/5 of his slight fundraising haul. So a Republican able to quickly raise money, or self-fund the race, seems essential. That leaves someone like Josh Mandel moving over from the Treasurer's race or DeWine moving over from AG to take over. Either would be ridiculously difficult for Pepper to beat." Of course, that last bit about the GOPers being difficult to beat should be taken with a grain of salt. Without having to face an incumbent on the ballot for auditor, Pepper's chances actually improve.

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