BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Greeted with an ovation and chants of “Joe,” Schiavoni kicked off his run for the top spot in Ohio’s government Monday night.
The state senator announced his plan to run two weeks ago, but tonight’s meeting was to organize people to help him get elected. He said he knows he has a lot of ground to cover, but that’s why his campaign is starting early.
Schiavoni is going to keep it simple, focusing on good jobs, quality schools, and safe communities.
“Most of the bills I’ve moved forward on go right in those three pockets. So that’s exactly what I’m going to continue to work on and just drive those home,” he said.
While Schiavoni may not be the biggest name in the race, he’s hoping to use that to his advantage. He’s met with Democratic leaders from about 25 of Ohio’s 88 counties in an attempt to become more recognizable.
“I got a lot of traction with Senate Bill 5 back in 2011. I worked throughout the state because I was leading that fight, so I’ve developed some really strong relationships and I’m going back a second or third time,” Schiavoni said.
Former State Rep. Connie Pillich announced Monday she will be running on the Democratic ticket as well. Betty Sutton, a former U.S. representative from the Akron area, is also running on the Democratic side.
All three could face some stiff competition from the Republicans. Lt. Governor Mary Taylor, Attorney General Mike DeWine, and State Secretary Jon Husted all look to become John Kasich’s successor.