With the race for governor of Ohio nationally watched, attention has recently focused on the lieutenant governor running mates of the major candidates. Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, the conservative favorite, has tapped a fellow conservative, State Rep. Tom Rega, to run on his ticket. His leading primary rival, State Atty. Gen. Jim Petro, had his first choice, Hamilton County Commissioner Phil Heinlich, leave his ticket. Heinlich (son of the inventor of the life-saving maneuver and grandson of dancing great Arthur Murray), decided he wanted instead to seek re-election to his present office. Petro has tapped State Sen. Joy Padgett to run with him.
Another candidate in the May Republican gubernatorial primary, State Auditor Betty Montgomery, has recently withdrawn from the race.
The leading Democratic candidate, Rep. Ted Strickland, last week tapped former State Atty.Gen. and 1998 gubernatorial nominee Lee Fisher as his running mate.