Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune says he’s moving forward with plans to run for Ohio governor, potentially mounting a Democratic primary challenge to Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald. From Ohio Public Radio member station WVXU Tana Weingartner reports.
Todd Portune says he's forming an exploratory committee to examine making a run for governor. That's despite not having the backing of the Ohio Democratic Party.
Portune said Ohioans deserve a choice.
"I believe I am the candidate to lead our party," Portune said. "I have 21 years in local government service -- consecutive service. To win Ohio as a Democrat, you've got to so well in southern Ohio. And I certainly have done that, winning four consecutive elections as a member of Cincinnati city council, and then winning four consecutive elections as a Hamilton county commissioner."
As governor, Portune said, he'd focus on issues like transportation and increasing employment in the state, while making sure hard-hit Ohioans have the social safety net they need. He said he's fiscally conservative and knows how to balance a lean budget.
Portune has until Feb. 5 to gather the petition signatures to force a primary race with Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.
State Rep. Chris Redfern, the chair of the Ohio Democratic Party, told WVXU, "Every two years, we get excited about the Cincinnati Bengals, and Todd Portune talks about running for an office."
Redfern said FitzGerald is the party's endorsed candidate, and that Portune has no chance of defeating him.