Friday, April 27, 2001

Deters foe finds support here




By Howard Wilkinson
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The long-anticipated Republican battle between Cincinnati's Joe Deters and Cleveland's Jim Petro for state attorney general began in earnest Thursday, with the Clevelander invading the Cincinnatian's territory.

        Cincinnati was the fifth and final stop Thursday for Mr. Petro, the state auditor, on his campaign kick-off tour of Ohio. And when he arrived at his regional office in downtown Cincinnati, he had some high—profile Hamilton County Republicans at his side - just to make the point that Mr. Deters does not own the franchise on GOP support here.

[photo] Jim Petro announces his candidacy for Attorney General at a press conference Thursday, with (from left) John Dowlin, Simon Leis, Thomas Brinkman, Ron O¹Brien, and wife Nancy Petro.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
| ZOOM |
        Joining Mr. Petro at a campaign kick-off reception that drew about 50 Republicans were some local GOP elected officials who have had run-ins with Mr. Deters, including Sheriff Simon Leis, Hamilton County Commissioner John Dowlin and State Rep. Tom Brinkman, R-Mount Lookout.

        “I'm not saying I am going to win Hamilton County,” said the 52-year-old former Cuyahoga County commissioner. “But I'm glad I have some support here. I will say I think I'll win 87 of 88 counties.”

        With his five-city tour Thursday, Mr. Petro was kicking off his campaign for the GOP attorney general nomination that voters won't decide for another year.

        Ohio's term limits law prevents Mr. Petro from running for a third term as state auditor, so he is running for a job that he said Thursday he has wanted since the early 1970s.

        But Mr. Deters, the Ohio treasurer and former Hamilton County prosecutor, announced last week he won't run for re-election as treasurer and will take on Mr. Petro in the 2002 primary. The present Republican attorney general, Betty Montgomery, also has reached her term limit in 2002.

       



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