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Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor Closes in on Mike DeWine in Ohio Gov. Race

Mary Taylor
AP Photo/Dake Kang

Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor has closed the gap with state Attorney General Mike DeWine in the Ohio gubernatorial race, according to a new poll.

Taylor’s campaign released an internal poll on Tuesday that reveals she closed the gap to only ten points behind DeWine to win the state’s gubernatorial Republican primary. The survey suggests that DeWine leads 42 percent to Taylor’s 32 percent, with 26 percent of likely voters still undecided.

Past polling has put DeWine and his running mate, Jon Husted, the Ohio Secretary of State, leading by between 25 and 30 points since January.

Taylor’s campaign said in a statement on Tuesday, “Mary Taylor is taking this race away from Mike DeWine.”

Lt. Gov. Taylor and her running mate, Nathan Estruth, believe that have “erased 30 points since January.”

Taylor serves as the conservative anti-establishment candidate competing against the Republican National Committee (RNC) endorsed candidate DeWine. Bob Paduchik, the RNC’s co-chairman, slammed the Taylor campaign for running an ad attacking DeWine for his support of amnesty, gun control, and trade.

Paduchik called the ad, “false and misleading.”

The Taylor campaign shot back at Paduchik in a statement, saying:

Mike DeWine and his D.C. Swamp cronies are once again trying the oldest political establishment trick in the book: name calling and slander to distract from a 40-plus year liberal record. It’s all he has because he’s afraid to stand up and face Mary Taylor on a debate stage where he won’t be able to hide what he’s done.

In Congress, then-Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) earned an “F” rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA), although, it improved to a “C” in 2014, after his first term as the state’s attorney general. Meanwhile, Taylor earned an “A” rating from the NRA. The Lt. Gov. also chastised Gov. John Kasich’s call for gun control in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February. Taylor also suggested that “law-abiding citizens” should be allowed to carry guns on school campuses.

In 2006, DeWine sponsored legislation to ban assault weapons with Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), John Warner (R-VA).

Onward Ohio, a pro-Taylor Super PAC, ran ads starting in March attacking DeWine for joining then-Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-IL) in favor a 2006 illegal alien amnesty bill. DeWine also wrote a 2013 legal opinion that under Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) illegal alien amnesty, some DACA aliens can receive state licenses.

Ryan Stubenrauch, DeWine’s campaign spokesman, said that DeWine’s 2006 vote for amnesty was to “build a wall, hire more than 15,000 new border agents and crack down on employers hiring illegal aliens.”

In April, The DeWine campaign sent a cease-and-desist letter to Ohio TV stations requesting that they stop airing Taylor’s campaign ads, deeming them false advertising.

Stubenrauch argued, “Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor has built her entire campaign on one lie after another. We will not sit by and let Lt. Gov Taylor’s latest lies about Mike DeWine and his conservative record air freely on television.”

Michael Duchesne, a Taylor campaign spokesman, countered in a statement, “It’s rich that D.C. DeWine is trying to get his attorney buddies to hide his 42-year liberal voting record for him. This from a guy who has a dark-money super PAC sending mailers out on his behalf.”

Duchesne added, “Tell Mike’s attorneys that I said he voted for taxpayer-funded benefits for illegals and the largest amnesty bill in American history, mandated that illegals receive driver’s licenses, and has failed to do anything about sanctuary cities.”

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