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Former Write-In Candidate For Governor Allegedly Plotted To Arrest DeWine

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, left, and his wife Fran, walk into the governor's residence on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Bexley, Ohio.
Jay LaPrete
Associated Press

A former write-in gubernatorial candidate allegedly plotted to conduct a citizen’s arrest of Gov. Mike DeWine. 

A police report filed earlier this month in Piqua alleges Renea Turner, who ran as a Republican write-in candidate against DeWine in 2018, was trying to recruit people to go to the governor’s residence and arrest him for tyranny. The Ohio Capital Journal first reported the story.

The person who filed the report later reported threats to their safety, so WOSU is maintaining their anonymity.

Then Thursday, Turner staged an event at the Statehouse on Facebook Live declaring herself the governor of Ohio and taking the oath of office. 

“This is a huge step for America,” Turner said afterward. “This is just getting started with Ohio. We have figured out a way to save America and we are starting it today.”

Turner also posted a kind of Declaration of Independence on her Facebook page repeatedly calling DeWine a tyrant, and asserting the governor will receive "a tyrant's punishment."

DeWine said that he did not know any details about the arrest, and wouldn't discuss any aspects of his security.

“I think it’s incumbent upon all of us to denounce that and say that’s wrong, whether it’s coming from the left, whether it’s coming from the right, that is wrong," DeWine says.

Before she resigned in June, Ohio Department of Health director Amy Acton received numerous threats and routinely found armed protestors in her neighborhood. And recently, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer was the target of domestic terrorists who authorities say wanted to kidnap her.

The Piqua police have referred the alleged citizen's arrest plot to the Ohio Highway Patrol. The patrol did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.