COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted ended his gubernatorial campaign to become primary rival and Attorney General Mike DeWine's running mate.
DeWine and Husted announced their joint ticket in Dayton Thursday, with DeWine continuing to run for governor and Husted running for lieutenant governor.
"Republicans have been fighting with each other long enough. Had I continued my run for Governor, Mike and I would have fought a brutal campaign that would have left the winner bruised and broken with only a few months to rebuild in time for the General Election," Husted said in a written announcement. "We would have spent millions of dollars fight each other rather than focusing on winning the election that really matters in November."
Husted's decision leaves a three-way GOP primary between DeWine, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.
Several Democrats are also in the race, including former state Rep. Connie Pillich, state Supreme Court Justice William O'Neill, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni and former Rep. Betty Sutton.
Former Cincinnati mayor and TV host Jerry Springer said he will not run, the Associated Press reported. However, former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director and former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray is expected to join the race.