COLUMBUS, Ohio — Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters says he turned down an offer to work in Mike DeWine’s administration, but that’s not a knock on DeWine.
Deters and other local Republicans say they are big fans of the new Ohio governor and that DeWine will have a positive impact on Southwest Ohio.
“This guy is, he's the real deal and he cares a lot,” Deters said Monday after attending DeWine’s inauguration ceremony at the Statehouse.
Deters said he turned down a chance to work in DeWine’s cabinet as Director of Public Safety.
“For him to even think of me was really an honor, but I can't leave Cincinnati,” Deters said.
In his first address as governor, DeWine called for optimism about the future. Local Republicans already like what they heard on the first day when DeWine urged Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin to work together to build a new Brent Spence Bridge.
“We see a real opportunity for Southwest Ohio with this Governor,” said Hamilton County GOP Chairman Alex Triantafilou.
Triantafilou said he knows DeWine well and has been to Reds Spring Training with him.
“He's an avid Cincinnati Reds fan,” Triantafilou said. “There are these Cincinnati roots with this governor, and we haven't seen that since Bob Taft.”
Both Deters and Triantafilou said Ohioans will quickly see a difference between DeWine and his predecessor, John Kasich.
“His style is very different than the last governor and I think people are going to see it. He's a totally different guy,” Deters said.
“It's hard not to compare him to his predecessor some for me. I think it's going to be a different tone, a different set of ideals that come out of the governor's office,” Triantafilou said. “What we see in Mike DeWine is a family man.”
DeWine's son Pat, an Ohio Supreme Court associate justice who swore his dad into office, served as a member of the Hamilton County Commission and Cincinnati City Council before starting his career on the bench in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas and Ohio's 1st District Court of Appeals
“I'm one of eight kids,” Pat DeWine said. “All my father's grandkids were involved in the ceremony today. Family is something that's very, very important to both my parents.”
During the official midnight swearing, everyone seemed to notice the nine Bibles the first lady Fran was holding - the Governor's hand on top.
“My mom had a story about each one of them,” Pat DeWine said, “but I suspect she also wants to be able to give each of her kids a Bible that my father was sworn in on.”
DeWine’s ties to Southwest Ohio were evident at his his Statehouse ceremony.
The program started with music from student from Miami University, where the governor and first lady married.
And there’s another Cincinnati connection: while a student at Miami, the governor spent time student teaching at Princeton High School, according to the Columbus Dispatch.