The Columbus Dispatch has endorsed Republican Dave Yost for Ohio Attorney General.
The newspaper’s editorial board endorsed Yost because of his broad experience as state auditor and his proven history of fighting public corruption, said the Republican Attorneys General Association in a statement Monday.
Yost’s opponent is Democratic Steve Dettelbach, who served as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio in the Obama administration and previously as a federal prosecutor in the Department of Justice.
The newspaper said Ohioans’ choice for attorney general “pits a career prosecutor against a seasoned officeholder. For the edge he brings in experience politically and professionally, we endorse the Republican candidate, Dave Yost.”
The Dispatch said Yost’s experience as state auditor gives him a leg up in many of the intangible duties of the AG’s office, such as serving as the chief legal counsel for state agencies and as the state’s debt collector.
“There are times the AG is compelled to climb into a bully pulpit and urge others to act, and Yost’s experience as state auditor, his current elective office, will add to his credibility in that responsibility,” the paper stated.
It also noted that Yost has absorbed lessons in the various political offices he has served that make him the better bet for attorney general. “But he’s also not afraid to take positions different from others in his party, and we like that about him.”
For example, Yost was a tireless critic of some aspects of Gov. John Kasich’s privatization of state economic development activity that put certain records of JobsOhio out of his reach as state auditor and out of public view. At Yost’s urging, the state senate approved legislation earlier this year to give the auditor more oversight authority and access to work papers for JobsOhio performance audits.
The Dispatch also believes Yost would be the best gatekeeper of Ohio’s sunshine laws, which require transparency in government at the state and local level.
Yost challenged secret proceedings earlier this year of the Columbus City Schools’ superintendent search, causing the school board to abandon that effort and start over rather than face legal liability threatened by the auditor.
Read the full endorsement here.
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Anthony Accardi is a writer and reporter for The Ohio Star.