Ohio GOP searches for attorney general candidate

By Chris Rizo | May 21, 2008

Bob Bennett

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline)- The Ohio Republican Party is gearing up to search for the ideal candidate to run for state attorney general, following embattled Attorney General Marc Dann's resignation last week.

A 26-member search committee began its work Wednesday, and the state GOP's 66-member central and executive committee will make the pick.

On the search committee is former Attorney General Betty Montgomery, the Republican incumbent whom Dann unseated in November 2006.

Montgomery said last week that she would not run again for her old post.

By defeating Montgomery, Dann became the first Democrat in a decade elected as Ohio's attorney general.

He resigned under amid pressure from fellow Democrats after he admitted to having an affair with a 28-year-old subordinate and an internal report that criticized his management of the office.

Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett said the search committee will carefully evaluate applicants and recommend the best possible candidate to run for the seat in November.

"Our goal is to find a Republican leader who can restore honor and integrity to the Ohio attorney general's office and bring back the high legal standards that once made this office a model for the nation before Marc Dann got his hands on it," Bennett said.

Following Dann's resignation, First Assistant Attorney General Tom Winters became acting attorney general until an interim appointment is made.

Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland is considering candidates for an interim appointment until the November election.

"I have made no decision whatsoever as to whether to exclude or include any particular individuals," Strickland was quoted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as saying Wednesday.

Among those reportedly being considered by the governor as possible appointees include: state Treasurer Richard Cordray, Matt Heck, a Montgomery County prosecutor and Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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