Report: Blackwell to name Rep. Tom Raga as running mate

The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell will name two-time Buckeye Firearms Association endorsee and state Representative as his running mate Monday.

The Enquirer reports that Blackwell and the new candidate for lieutenant governor will kick off their joint campaign with stops in Toledo, Dayton and Cincinnati.

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From the story:

    “[Raga] is one of the bright, rising stars of Ohio Republican politics,’’ said Rick Segal, the Fairfield advertising executive who headed Blackwell’s search for a running mate. “It’s a very good fit.’’

    ...“This helps us secure our southern Ohio base,’’ Segal said. “We’re just strengthening our position in a part of the state when Ken Blackwell is strong and where there are a lot of Republican votes.’’

The newspaper reports that Raga was chosen in part because of his close ties to the GOP House leadership, particularly House Speaker Jon Husted, R-Kettering, and that the Blackwell campaign is hoping that Raga can help push some Blackwell legislative initiatives.

Blackwell's main primary opponent, Attorney General Jim Petro, recently named state Sen. Joy Padgett, a 2004 endorsee of this political action committee who is sponsoring sister legislation to HB347 in the Senate, as his running mate.

A recent poll done for the Ohio Republican Party showed that while Blackwell holds a 10 percentage point lead over Petro among Republicans likely to vote in the May 2 primary, Petro did better than Blackwell in a head-to-head match-up with Ted Strickland, the Democratic congressman who is likely to be his party's gubernatorial nominee.

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