A handful of Republican state lawmakers, unable to run for re-election due to term limits, are among those seeking jobs with incoming Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration.
Reps. Marlene Anielski, of Walton Hills, Mike Duffey, of Worthington, Michael Henne, of Brookville and Dorothy Pelanda, of Marysville, are among those who have expressed interest in working for or formally applied for jobs with DeWine, according to sources familiar with DeWine’s transition effort and a list of job applicants released in response to a public records request. Also applying for jobs: Hamilton County State Rep. Jonathan Dever, who was narrowly defeated in the November election and Franklin County State Rep. Jim Hughes, who ran and lost for a judge position rather than seek re-election.
In an interview, Duffey, who vocally supported DeWine’s candidacy during the 2018 campaign, said he had not been offered a job, nor had he applied for any one in particular.
“It would be a dream to be able to work with Mike DeWine,” Duffey said. “I was very active supporting him for governor, and I believe he’s the exact right person for this role for Ohio. But it’s too early in this process to really comment.”
The applications are not necessarily for high-level positions — the list does not distinguish between those applying for entry-level jobs or cabinet-level positions.
But it’s not uncommon for ex-lawmakers to land high-ranking state jobs in Columbus. Five of outgoing Republican Gov. John Kasich’s cabinet members — Medicaid Director Barbara Sears, Agriculture Director Tim Derickson, Development Director David Goodman, Natural Resources Director Jim Zehringer and Higher Education Chancellor John Carey – previously served in the state legislature.
A spokesman for DeWine, who will take office next month, declined to comment on potential hires. But the list of 921 people who have applied for DeWine administration jobs using DeWine’s transition website also includes Mary DeGenaro, a former appellate judge who was appointed to a vacancy on the Ohio Supreme Court earlier this year but lost the November election to keep the job.
Also among those who have applied for jobs with the DeWine administration are Carey, Derickson and Goodman, the Kasich cabinet members.
Other ex-state lawmakers who were among the applicants: Mike Dovilla, a former state representative from Berea who ran and lost for a state senate seat in 2016 rather than seek re-election; Ron Maag, a former state representative from Warren County who left office in 2016 due to term limits and Jeff McClain, who left his Northeast Ohio state representative seat in 2016 due to term limits. Tim Barhorst, who lost a close race in November for an open state representative seat in Franklin County applied for a job, as did Erik Yassenoff, who lost a different Franklin County state representative race.
Term-limited state Sen. Bill Beagle, of Miami County, also has been linked to a job with incoming State Treasurer Robert Sprague’s office, sources said.
On Tuesday, DeWine announced his first round of cabinet hires, including his chief of staff and national resources department director. All worked with him during his tenure as attorney general, where he served from 2011 through this year.
DeWine, a Republican, will assume office in January.