Republican announces run for Ohio AG

Keith Loria Apr. 21, 2009, 11:34am

Dave Yost (R)

Richard Cordray (D)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline)- Delaware County Prosecutor Dave Yost announced this week that he would seek the GOP nomination for state attorney general in 2010.

Earlier this year, former state Treasurer Richard Cordray became Ohio's chief legal officer, after fellow Democrat and Marc Dann resigned in May amid a sexual harassment scandal.

Yost, the three-term Delaware County prosecutor, screened last year as a Republican candidate to complete Dann's unexpired term. However, he withdrew his candidacy prior to the election, saying he did not have enough time to sufficiently organize a campaign. Cordray won the November special election.

In declaring his candidacy at the College Republicans convention at the Ohio State University, Yost said Ohio needs "a prosecutor, not a politician" in the State's top law enforcement job.

"The attorney general's office is the backbone of Ohio law enforcement," Yost said. "I've been on the front lines of criminal justice and in the courts-I know what's needed by the men and women who carry the badge, and I'll make sure they get it."

Yost said he wants to help make the Buckeye State more business-friendly by revamping regulatory measures and by making more judicious use of the attorney general office's power to litigate.

"We've had a couple of AGs who get up in the morning looking for who they can sue next," Yost said.

Yost ran unopposed for the prosecutor's office in November, his third term in the position since 2003. He was appointed county auditor in 1999, and prior to that, served four years on Delaware's City Council while practicing law.

Yost won the first capital murder sentence in Delaware County history in 2003, and has aggressively pursued sex offenders over the years, including successfully defending Megan's Law from a constitutional challenge in federal court.

Political observers said they believed Yost would have been a factor in the November election but will have a better chance in 2010. Cordray is also expected to seek a full four-year term.

Although Yost is the first Republican to announce his candidacy, former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, who lost his 2006 reelection bid, is considering a run for attorney general.

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