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Mike DeWine Plans To Pay Himself Back Loans Made To Governor Campaign

Lieutenant governor-elect Jon Husted and governor-elect Mike DeWine celebrate at the Ohio Republican Party event, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio.
Tony Dejak
/
Associated Press
Lieutenant governor-elect Jon Husted and governor-elect Mike DeWine celebrate at the Ohio Republican Party event, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio.

Last year’s campaign for governor was the most expensive in Ohio history, with the two major party candidates raising more than $43 million. Gov. Mike DeWine loaned his campaign $4 million, but has not forgiven that loan. Now, he could now pay himself back from campaign funds.

When asked at an Ohio Associated Press forum Tuesday whether he plans to pay himself back, DeWine cracked a joke, but no one laughed.

“You can ask my wife if she’d like to have the money paid back," DeWine said.

DeWine went on to say his campaign would pay off its other debts and then get to him.

“This is not like this has not happened before,” DeWine said. “We’ve done it before. Many candidates have done it before.”

While it’s a perfectly legal and commonly used practice, some good government groups often question it, saying it allows wealthier candidates unfair advantages and say the mere optics of it do not look good. 

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.