Battle for GOP gubernatorial nomination comes to Middletown

Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor met with supporters at Java Johnny’s in Middletown during a campaign stop Tuesday. Taylor is seeking the nomination for governor in the May 8 Republican Primary. At left is Taylor’s running mate, Hamilton businessman Nathan Estruth. ED RICHTER/STAFF

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Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor met with supporters at Java Johnny’s in Middletown during a campaign stop Tuesday. Taylor is seeking the nomination for governor in the May 8 Republican Primary. At left is Taylor’s running mate, Hamilton businessman Nathan Estruth. ED RICHTER/STAFF

Ohio GOP gubernatorial hopeful Mary Taylor said “now is the time for choosing” as she brought her conservative message to her supporters during a campaign stop Tuesday in Middletown.

Taylor, the state's lieutenant governor from Summit County, and her running mate, Hamilton businessman Nathan Estruth, met with about three dozen supporters at Java Johnny's to share their plans.

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If elected, Taylor pledged to:

  • End the Medicaid expansion. She is proposing a state bond issue to generate funds to provide incentives for the private sector to build out the continuum of care that would focus on outcomes and help people living in addiction to restore their lives.
  • End Common Core. Taylor said there is too much testing and would have three graduation standards: a minimum grade point average; using the ACT as the graduation test with a minimum score to be remediation free if going to college; and for those not going to college, a career credential through vocational education.
  • Shut down sanctuary cities in Ohio. She said she would cut state funding to cities who are not in compliance with federal and state laws as well as hold city officials criminally liable.
  • Create a postcard tax return for state taxes.

Saying she would “stand up and do the right thing even if when there is a consequence for doing so,” she told supporters not all Republicans in politics are conservatives.

“I’m a little worried about our Republican Party though, especially the folks in Columbus (who are) too willing to go along to get along, too willing to accept the status quo and the establishment, and to allow a coronation of a candidate some may say is inevitable,” said Taylor who has spent more than 11 years in statewide office.

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Taylor, whose two sons are in recovery for drug addictions, called opponent Attorney General Mike DeWine’s decision to join other states to sue the drug companies for the opioid epidemic was “a typical Democratic solution.”

“That’s not going provide any help, hope or healing to anybody suffering through addiction today,” she said.

Estruth, the former CEO of P&G subsidiary iMFLUX, an injection molding technology company in Hamilton, cited DeWine’s 42 years in political office as the main reason why he and Taylor should win the nomination, saying they are the “next generation of conservative leadership.”

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