Photo from WEWS.
The following article was originally published on News5Cleveland.com and is published in the Ohio Capital Journal under a content-sharing agreement. Unlike other OCJ articles, it is not available for free republication by other news outlets as it is owned by WEWS in Cleveland.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine won his reelection in a landslide, in what will most likely be the 75-year-old’s last term in public office. He sat down for a 20-minute interview with OCJ/WEWS to discuss his legacy, economic development, and controversies.
“I would like people to say that this was a governor who loved Ohio, this is a governor who understood Ohio, and the people of Ohio and did everything he could to make sure that everyone in Ohio could live up to their full potential,” DeWine told OCJ/WEWS’s Morgan Trau.
He wants to be remembered for his dedication to childhood education, mental health initiatives and economic development. But Ohio is losing population quickly in areas outside of Columbus, and some say that’s due to the super-conservative legislation he keeps signing. He disagreed.
“Ohio’s population has been rather static for about 50 years,” he said. “But the way we bring that back is what we’re doing, we bring jobs to Ohio, when you bring jobs to Ohio, that means that young people can stay in Ohio and find jobs, find their career, find their passion.”
His major economic wins, like multi-billion dollar projects with both Intel and Honda, showed his willingness to work across the aisle and with Congress to create more opportunities for Ohio workers.
For progressives, his signing of the 2019 six-week abortion ban cements a very different type of legacy. This was shown in the national backlash following a child rape victim needing to leave the state to get an abortion.
“Has the 10-year-old rape case changed your perspective about exemptions for abortion?” Trau asked.
“What I have said is that, you know, I, I’m pro-life… I know there’s been some criticism about the current law,” the governor said. “So I think we need to look at that.”
“Would you sign a total abortion ban with no exceptions?” Trau started to ask, but was cut off.
“Yeah, I’m not gonna go today beyond what I said,” he responded.
The governor said that he has already advised the lawmakers that they need to be clear in their legislation and that laws need to be acceptable to Ohioans.
This story will be updated with more details from the interview.
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