Hagan's Lieutenant Governor Field Narrowed Down

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - Former Ohio Rep. Vernon Sykes is declining to comment on a published report that he is a leading candidate to run as Tim Hagan's lieutenant governor on the Democratic ticket.

The Akron Beacon Journal -- citing unidentified sources -- said that Hagan (pictured, right) has narrowed his choice to two candidates, Sykes and Cincinnati City Council member Alicia Reese.

Hagan -- a former Cuyahoga County commissioner -- is the first and only Democrat to officially declare his candidacy for governor against Republican Bob Taft.

The 50-year-old Sykes was a state lawmaker from 1983 to 2000, when term limits forced him to leave office. In 1993-94 he was president of the Black Elected Democrats of Ohio.

He now is a Kent State University professor.

Reese, at 29, was the youngest woman ever elected to the Cincinnati City Council in 1999. She was re-elected in 2001 and was appointed the city's vice mayor.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)