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COLUMBUS -- Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor formally filed paperwork Feb. 23 to run for governor, the first of a handful of Republicans expected to jump into that race.
Taylor announced that formation of a new committee, "Mary Taylor for Governor," and the designation of a treasurer. She also has stepped down as honorary chairwoman of the Onward Ohio PAC.
A release noted a formal announcement later this year, but the filings enable Taylor to begin campaigning now.
"First, we are blessed to live in an amazing country where conservative reform is coming, and I'm ready to lead this fight in Ohio," Taylor said in a released statement. "I care deeply about our state, our people, and the future we can build by working together. We turned Ohio in a new direction and we've seen what's possible in our communities when we rein in government, put people first, and ensure everyone has a fair shot at the American Dream. My priorities are jobs, strengthening families, fixing education and cutting red tape so government is accountable. I want the job of serving Ohioans as our next governor and this is an important step forward."
Taylor is a former state auditor and lawmaker. As lieutenant governor, she has headed the state's insurance department and the Common Sense Initiative, launched by the governor's administration to cut burdensome business regulations.
A certified public accountant, she holds a bachelor's degree in accounting and a master's in taxation from the University of Akron.
Taylor is expected to have company in what could be a crowded 2018 gubernatorial field, with Secretary of State Jon Husted and Attorney General Mike DeWine expected to run. Republican Congressman Jim Renacci's name also has been mentioned among possible contenders.
Marc Kovac covers the Ohio Statehouse for Gatehouse Media. Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.