Springer, Cordray in speculation mix for Ohio governor race

CINCINNATI — An Obama administration holdover under heat in Washington and a tabloid TV host were making their presence known at Ohio Labor Day events Monday amid speculation both could join the 2018 governor’s race.

In Cleveland, Jerry Springer stepped out for a Labor Day parade as he mulls a run for Ohio governor.

The 73-year-old tabloid TV host appeared at a parade and rally Monday supporting union rights and a $15 minimum wage.

The Democrat was joined by health care workers, librarians, security guards and other members of the Service Employees International Union.

“We have to fight back! Working-class America is under attack. Keep up the fight,” Springer said at a Monday morning rally.

His appearance comes as Hamilton County Democratic Chairman Tim Burke says Springer is “seriously considering” whether to join the crowded 2018 governor’s race. Burke wasn’t sure when Springer planned to make his decision.

Springer made a failed bid for governor in 1982 and twice considered running for U.S. Senate. He bounced back from a prostitution scandal in the 1970s to win election to a term as Cincinnati mayor.

In Cincinnati, Richard Cordray was scheduled to speak at a high-profile Labor Day picnic.

Cordray heads the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a target of Republicans who say it hinders business growth. Some Republicans contend political ambitions are influencing Cordray’s work.

The former Ohio treasurer and attorney general highlights Monday’s AFL-CIO picnic at Coney Island near Cincinnati. Speakers there in recent years have included former President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton.

So far, four Republicans and four Democrats are in the race to succeed Republican Gov. John Kasich. Democrats will debate Sept. 12.

Local candidates mingled with visitors at Cincinnati’s Labor Day picnic as grills sizzled with burgers, ribs, hotdogs and brats. But many people weren’t focused on Ohio’s 2018 governor’s race.

“I haven’t paid a lot of attention to it yet,” said Gene Boshears, 61, a steelworker from the Cincinnati suburb of Delhi Township. A supporter of President Donald Trump, he said he’ll “vote for getting jobs for Ohio.”

By Dan Sewell

Associated Press

Associated Press Writer Julie Carr Smyth in Columbus contributed to this report.