Northeast Ohio Politicians Seeking State Offices

By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS, AP Statehouse Correspondent

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Mary O. Boyle, a former Cuyahoga County commissioner and unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Senate, said Wednesday she will run for state treasurer.

Also, former Cleveland City councilwoman Helen Smith will run for state auditor, the Ohio Democratic Party said.

The Democrats earlier endorsed candidates for governor, attorney general and secretary of state but had not yet fielded candidates for the two remaining statewide posts.

Treasurer Joe Deters, a Republican, is running for re-election this year.

Boyle (pictured, above) planned an official campaign announcement Wednesday afternoon. The filing deadline is Thursday for the May 7 primary.

She criticized Deters, who earlier said he would run for attorney general. Deters agreed to run for treasurer again after a GOP plan cleared the way for him to seek the attorney general's nomination in four years.

"I can do this job and I want this job and that's different from the person sitting in the office right now," Boyle said. "I believe my background and experience and desire to serve in the office is what Ohioans want to have now."

In 1994, Boyle lost the Democratic Senate nomination to Joel Hyatt by fewer than 17,000 votes. In 1998, she ran again for the U.S. Senate but lost to then Gov. George Voinovich, 56 percent to 44 percent.

Deters' spokesman Matt Borges said Deters made the treasurer's office a national model in his first term.

Deters is proud of his accomplishments and will make similar improvements to the office during a second term, Borges said. "Any talk to the contrary is just political posturing and nonsense," he said.

Smith will file for the auditor's race Thursday, said Lauren Worley, spokeswoman for the Ohio Democratic Party.

Attorney General Betty Montgomery, a Republican barred from seeking a third term, also has declared for the auditor's race. The current auditor, Republican Jim Petro, is running for attorney general.

In 1997, Smith lost the race for Cleveland mayor to fellow Democrat Michael R. White.

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