Baldish white man wearing a suit holding a microphone and talking

Ohio Democrats need a bold new leader, a gut fighter with a heart of gold to win back the governorship in 2018.

His name is Joe. Joe Schiavoni.

The two-term state senator from Boardman, who was born in Youngstown, is 39 and has never run statewide before. But he conducts himself with the wisdom and maturity of a much older person as his experience as a workers' compensation attorney will attest.

His approach is to go out and talk to people as he crisscrosses the state. He wants to find out what Ohioans of all walks of life are thinking about, what their challenges and needs are and what he can do to help them as a state senator and as a future governor.

Well under 6-feet tall with a shaved head, broad-shouldered and muscular, Joe looks like the former Golden Gloves boxing champ that he is.

But he is the consummate gentlemen in his dealings with people.

He understands the key issues of the day. Asked about sexual harassment, he said he will teach his young sons to treat all women respect as they treat their mother.

In the debates you could see that the three female contestants for governor respect Joe and vice versa. They say kind words to each other. Disagreements are handled politely.

You could see that Joe would be a vast improvement over Ohio's current overbearing, self-righteous, absentee governor, John Kasich.

Joe wants to eliminate the state income tax provision that Kasich put in for his rich friends so that LLC's cannot avoid taxes to the tune of $1.1 billion a year. Joe wants that money put into public schools, local government, children's health and fighting the opioid addiction.

We need a humanist, a pragmatist, a moderate, a high-energy doer, who will surround himself with good people and lead the state out of the Kasich-imposed darkness into the bright sunlight of betterment for all citizens, just not the moneyed and the favored.

Joe Schiavoni has integrity, charisma, growing name recognition, correct positions on key issues, and strong appeal to small town and rural voters that I believe are necessary to win. Even though he comes from the Mahoning Valley, Joe has engaged in a cram course on the campaign trail to learn the ways of the rest of the state in order to represent the whole state as its chief executive. It helps that he graduated from Ohio University.

It is true that neither Joe nor any of the other Democratic candidates for governor have raised enough money to compete with the well-heeled Republicans who already are forming dark money committees. Republicans have millions of dollars at the ready while Democrats have thousands

But I believe, to paraphrase the well-known movie saying, that as Joe Schiavoni builds an exemplary campaign, the millions he needs to win will come.

He is no ordinary Joe. He is an extraordinary Joe and Ohio needs him.

Republicans Make Desperate Moves To Keep Governorship

After the stunning upset by Democrat Doug Jones in the U.S. Senate race in heavily Republican Alabama and the steady deterioration of President Trump's popularity, Ohio Republicans have pushed the panic button because they fear losing the governorship and other state offices in 2018 like they did in 2006.

Mike DeWine and Jon Husted announced they are teaming up to form a ticket in order to win the Republican gubernatorial primary and eke out a victory in the general election. Secretary of State Husted quit the governor's race to accept the lieutenant governor's slot on a ticket headed by Attorney General DeWine.
Polling doubtless showed U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci nipping at their heels in a 4-way primary including Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor. Multimillionaire Renacci has the dough to compete and is favored by President Trump. By merging their supporters, the DeWine-Husted ticket likely has retaken the lead, but do not underestimate Renacci, whose political tactics can be described as junkyard dog.

Republicans are extra nervous because a Democratic wave election is in prospect in 2018 that could add 5-10 percentage points to the typical Democrat totals.

Polling doubtless showed Richard Cordray, who just joined the Democratic fray, beating the Republicans. Hence, GOP state bosses knew they had to pull their wagons into a circle to hold onto the governorship.

Cordray drew lots of negative fire from Republicans when he announced his candidacy. More evidence that the Democrat is polling well.

The problem is that Cordray is not that strong a candidate. He is an old face. He lost the attorney general's race to DeWine 7 years ago and made some bad hires as treasurer. Cordray should run for attorney general. He would badly outclass the GOP's lackluster candidate Dave Yost.



  • If the Franklin County commissioners want to raise the sales tax, they should put it to a vote of the people, not jack it up on their own as they did. The public and the media should be raising hell with them.
  • Ohio inspector general Randall Meyer is cracking down on unbid IT contracts, but where are the investigations and revelations about Gov. Kasich's $2 million of secret spending of taxpayer money for his presidential campaign travel expenses and about the black box operation known as JobbedOhio. Oops, I mean JobsOhio?
  • Kasich hopes to give his final state of the state address in his adopted hometown of Westerville March 6. At least we know the gallivanting one will be in Ohio at least one day in 2018.


Please send your comments and suggestions for future columns to


(ColumbusMediaInsider, copyright, 2018, John K. Hartman, All Rights Reserved) 

Appears in Issue: