It's official: David Pepper will run for Ohio attorney general in 2014

CINCINNATI - He's been making appearances across the state for months but Monday he made it official: David Pepper is running for Ohio attorney general next year.

A Democrat, Pepper is a former Cincinnati city councilman and Hamilton County commissioner.

Also, he is the son of John Pepper, a former Procter & Gamble CEO, and Francie Pepper, a well-known area volunteer.

Pepper, 41, of Anderson Township, said he can do a better job of representing the interests of Ohio residents that current Attorney General Mike DeWine, 66, a Republican.

"I have a very different view of how the office should be run," Pepper said. "He has repeatedly injected politics into the office, which is wrong."

As examples, Pepper cited DeWine's challenge to the federal health care reform law, in which he alleged any employer who objects to contraception should not have to provide contraceptive coverage to workers.

Also, Pepper said DeWine has remained quiet on more important issues like getting financial records for Jobs Ohio or fighting what Pepper called "voter suppression efforts" in the state last year.

"He picks some of the wrong battles, and he ignores some of the battles he should be in," Pepper said, referring to DeWine.

Pepper ran unsuccessfully for Cincinnati mayor in 2005, against fellow Democrat Mark Mallory. Also, he ran unsuccessfully for Ohio auditor in 2010 against Republican David Yost.

In the mayoral race, Pepper got 48.2 percent of the vote, while Mallory got 51.8 percent.

In the Ohio auditor's race, Pepper received 44.9 percent of votes cast, while Yost got 50.5 percent.

Nevertheless, Pepper believes the timing is right for another statewide run.

"There is an appetite in Ohio right now for something new, something better," he said. "People are looking for a better way to run state government."

Pepper pointed to the referendum that overwhelming rejected Ohio Senate Bill No. 5 and the current opposition to Gov. John Kasich's proposed sales tax increase.

Tim Burke, who heads the Hamilton County Democratic Party, said Pepper makes a good candidate for statewide office.

"You won't find anyone brighter, or who will work harder than David Pepper," Burke said. "He is well studied in the law and public policies. He would make a great attorney general."

Pepper is a graduate of Yale University and its law school. He works for the Blank Rome law firm in downtown Cincinnati.

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