Ohio Sen. Democratic Leader running for Governor

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) — Ohio Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) is running for Governor.

Schiavoni announced his plans to run on Wednesday.

“After seven years of Republican control, we still don’t have the high-paying jobs that places like Youngstown, Toledo and the Ohio Valley so desperately need,” Schiavoni said. “Our roads and bridges are falling apart.”

Schiavoni is the first of his party’s potentially crowded field to make a 2018 gubernatorial bid official.

He says Republicans have done too little to attract high-paying jobs, bolster public education and address Ohio’s heroin epidemic.

“Ohio’s opioid epidemic continues to plague our communities,” Schiavoni said. “

His announcement Wednesday came after a fellow Youngstown-area Democrat, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, decided not to run for governor.

Schiavoni says his bid shouldn’t be a surprise. He’s been traveling the state, building name recognition and support for months.

“Our public education system is woefully underfunded,” Schiavoni said. ” Meanwhile, Ohio Republicans give hundreds of millions of dollars to failing charter schools and billions in income tax cuts to the very rich.”

He’s a workers’ compensation lawyer who’s represented the 33rd Senate District since 2008, first by appointment, then by election.

Schiavoni has led Senate Democrats since 2013. They hold 9 of 33 Senate seats.

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