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Gov. Mike DeWine Won't Talk About Security After Thwarted Michigan Kidnapping Plot

Gov. Mike DeWine speaks during a public inauguration ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, in Columbus, Ohio.
John Minchillo
Associated Press

Gov. Mike DeWine won't say whether Ohio needs to beef up security, following the announcement that federal authorities stopped an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said Thursday that six men were federally charged with "conspiracy to commit kidnapping," which carries a punishment of up to life in prison. The group is accused of meeting in Dublin, Ohio, to discuss a plan of abducting Whitmer at her summer residence.

DeWine called the allegations a "despicable act" and said he was thankful it was stopped. But he said he wouldn't talk about any potential security changes – either to his own detail or others'.

The governor also said he had no knowledge of the investigation into the extremists, which the FBI launched earlier this year.

When asked whether increased security should be provided at polling places statewide, DeWine said police agencies are already working with state leaders to make sure enough protection is available at early voting centers.

“You know, there are many counties where a sheriff’s deputy is there, and that’s a good idea," DeWine said.

It’s up to county boards of elections to request help for poll workers who are tasked with safety at those locations. And though some have made that request, many do not have officers posted at the polls.

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.