Governor Mike DeWine comes to Akron talking business, future of Lordstown

Governor Mike DeWine comes to Akron talking business, future of Lordstown
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine in Akron

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - Governor Mike DeWine met with General Motors CEO Mary Barra Thursday in a last-ditch effort to save the Lordstown plant.

The governor is hoping to keep the plant open after it ends production of the Chevrolet Cruze in March. If it closes, more than 1,400 people would lose their jobs.

Governor Mike DeWine comes to Akron talking business, future of Lordstown

This was DeWine’s first visit to Northeast Ohio since being sworn in as governor. He spoke to business leaders in Akron.

In office just four days, Governor DeWine, who was sworn in on a stack of nine Bibles, has a clear vision of what he believes are the priorities facing the state.

A father and grandfather, DeWine has a soft spot for children.

“We have to make sure every child has the tools that they need so that they can be able to succeed. That’s my vision. That’s my goal,” DeWine said.

The governor spoke on a wide range of issues at the Akron Roundtable Thursday, including education, jobs and business.

Speaking of jobs, Cleveland 19 asked DeWine about his conversation with Mary Barra and what the future holds for the Lordstown Assembly Plant.

The governor said his gut tells him there is reason to be optimistic.

“If it goes with them not putting a new line in there, they’re going to do everything that they can to get somebody else in there. I’m convinced of that. It’s in their selfless interest to do it,” DeWine said.

We also asked the governor about the state’s rainy-day fund, which grew from 89 cents to $2.7 billion under former Governor John Kasich. What are the state’s plans for the money?

“I could come up with a lot of ways I would love to spend that money. I think that would be irresponsible to go right into that right now,” DeWine said.

He continued, “That money is there for when we hit a rough spot on the road when we go into maybe another recession.”

The governor also commented on the government shutdown, now the longest in U.S. history.

"I would love to see this thing get resolved. … Washington is a mess,” DeWine said.

“I hope it gets resolved. We’ve got people that are starting to get hurt."

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