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Mike DeWine

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Richard Michael DeWine
Mike DeWine.jpg
Attorney General of Ohio
In office
January 10, 2011 - Present
Term ends
January 2019
Years in position 4
PredecessorRichard Cordray (D)
Base salary$109,986
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Campaign $$8,563,385
Term limits2 terms
Prior offices
U.S. Senate
Lieutenant Governor of Ohio
U.S. House of Representatives
Bachelor'sMiami University (1969)
J.D.Ohio Northern University Law School (1972)
Date of birthJanuary 5, 1947
Place of birthSpringfield, Ohio
ReligionRoman Catholic
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Richard Michael DeWine (born January 5, 1947, in Springfield, Ohio) is the 50th and current Attorney General of Ohio. A Republican, he was first elected to the position on November 2, 2010, and assumed office on January 10, 2011. DeWine narrowly defeated Democratic incumbent Richard Cordray to win the seat by a margin of 47.54 percent to 46.26 percent.[1]

DeWine ran successfully for re-election in 2014, and began his second term on January 12, 2015.[2]

A longtime politician, DeWine previously served in several high offices: he was a state senator from 1981-1982, a U.S. Representative from 1983-1991, lieutenant governor from 1991-1994, and a member of the U.S. Senate from 1995-2007.[3]

While in office he has focused on tougher violent crime laws and pro-life issues. During his time in Congress, DeWine authored the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which stated that an unborn child is a separate victim when a mother is attacked, and the "DeWine Amendment" to prohibit the use of federal tax dollars to pay for insurance to provide abortion coverage.[4]


DeWine is native to Springfield, Ohio. He attended Miami University for his undergraduate degree in education and then Ohio Northern University law school for his J.D. Immediately after graduating from law school in 1972, DeWine worked as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Greene County, Ohio. By 1976, he had established himself well enough to gain election to the post of County Prosecutor.

He has been recognized several times throughout his career for both his public and private sector work. His awards include, but are not limited to:

  • Dr. Nathan Davis Award (1996) from the American Medical Association (AMA)
  • Outstanding Public Service Award (2001) from the Ohio Psychological Association (OPA)
  • Allies for Action Award (2006) from the Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN USA)[5]
  • Crime Fighter Award (2006) from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)


  • Bachelor's degree, Miami University (1969) in education
  • Juris Doctorate degree, Ohio Northern University (1972)

Political career

DeWine began his political career with a single term as an Ohio State Senator and four terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the seventh Congressional District. He resigned his seat to campaign as George Voinovich's running-mate in their successful 1990 Ohio gubernatorial/lieutenant gubernatorial election. He later went on to win election to the U.S. Senate in 1994, a seat which he retained until 2006. He returned to political office in 2010, this time as attorney general of Ohio.

Ohio Attorney General (2011-present)

DeWine was first elected to serve as Ohio's chief law enforcement officer in November 2010 and assumed office in January 2011. He was re-elected in 2014.


Obama for America v. Husted

The Ohio Legislature and Gov. John Kasich (R) passed a law changing Ohio's early voting system from allowing all voters to cast ballots until the day before Election Day to allowing only military voters and citizens residing overseas to vote in person three days prior to election day. Supporters argued the law was designed to help the state's almost 10,000 polling stations coordinate more efficiently in preparation for election day, as well as to combat voter fraud. On July 17, 2012 the Obama presidential campaign and other Democrats sued DeWine and secretary of state Jon Husted (R), claiming the law provided selective and unequal voting privileges and was therefore unconstitutional. On August 31, 2012, U.S. District Judge Peter Economus ruled on the side of the plaintiffs, agreeing that limiting early balloting to one group of voters over another violated the "constitutionally protected right to participate in the 2012 election -- and all elections -- on an equal basis with all Ohio voters.”[6] In practical terms, the judge granted a preliminary injunction to stop the secretary of state, whose office oversees elections, from enforcing the law, and ordered the previous in-person early voting schedule be restored.

DeWine said that he would appeal the ruling to the Cincinnati-based U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. “We disagree with the ruling today...We have always allowed distinction for military voters, and to say this violates equal protection is wrong.”[6]

Ohio was considered a key swing state in the 2012 presidential election, with 18 electoral college votes. No Republican has won a presidential election after losing Ohio; After the judge struck down the early-voting law, which could have favorably affected the Republican vote in the upcoming election,[7] Vice President Joe Biden remarked that a victory in Ohio would seal Obama's re-election.[6]

Healthcare reform
See also: State Attorneys General Against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010

In 2003, the American Public Health Association (APHA), a D.C.-based professional organization for public health professionals in the United States, gave DeWine a 0% rating when it came to health issues. APHA based this on the percentage of votes DeWine cast in favor of the organization's preferred position on health-related bills between 1995 and 2003.[8]

Despite the urging of United States House of Representatives Minority Leader John Boehner and other Republican members of Ohio's congressional delegation for Democrat Attorney General to join other states in suing the federal government over the health care overhaul measure, Richard Cordray felt that the suit held "no legal merit and would needlessly tie up the resources of his office."[9]

In response, DeWine said that he would "file suit against the Obama-care bill his first day in office if elected."[10] The former United States senator described the controversial reform legislation as an "unprecedented encroachment on the sovereignty of the states" that burdens the state of Ohio with new regulations and costs that an already strained state budget could not afford.[11]


On April 3, 2012, DeWine certified a petition proposal, led by a Freedom to Marry advocacy group, to overturn the Ohio Constitution's ban on same-sex marriage. The goal of the petition was to repeal the 2004-established legal definition of marriage, which limits recognition to a union between a man and a woman, and replace it with a broadened definition as a union of two consenting adults. DeWine initially rejected the petition for concerns about the summary's intelligibility, but the advocacy group considered the criticism and re-submitted the petition to the attorney general, this time with a clearer description of the measure, and earned his stamp of validation. The salient amendment was passed in 2004.

DeWine expressed his neutrality on the issue and overarching deference to the law in a followup letter to the petitioners, in which he wrote: "Without passing on the advisability of the approval or rejection of the measure to be referred, I hereby certify that the summary is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed constitutional amendment."[12]

Regulation of e-cigarettes

In a broad, bipartisan move, 37 state attorneys general sent a letter to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg on September 24, 2013, asking the agency "to take all available measures" to regulate the advertising, ingredients and sale of e-cigarettes.[13]

The letter, co-sponsored by DeWine and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (D), was especially aimed towards youth, as Coakley stated, "People, especially kids, are being led to believe that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative, but they are highly addictive and can deliver strong doses of nicotine. We urge the FDA to act quickly to ensure that these products are regulated to protect the public, and are no longer advertised or sold to youth."[14]

The FDA has had authority to regulate cigarettes, cigarette tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco since 2009, but currently does not regulate pipe tobacco, cigars or e-cigarettes. Under the law, the FDA can expand their authority into these products, but first must issue new regulations, something it said are in development.[15]

Alongside Massachusetts and Ohio, attorneys general from the following states signed the letter: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming. They were also joined by the attorneys general of Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.[16]

Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Mike DeWine endorsed Rick Santorum in the 2012 presidential election. [17] DeWine previously endorsed Mitt Romney.[18]

U.S. Senate (1994-2006)

In 1992, DeWine challenged former astronaut John Glenn for his United States Senate seat after his name was sullied as a result of his involvement in the Lincoln Savings and Keating Five Scandal, despite his exoneration. Though he received a career low of fifty-one percent of the vote, Glenn was still able to defeat his Republican challenger. DeWine ran for the United States Senate again two years later, this time defeating attorney Joel Hyatt by a fourteen point margin of victory. He was served continuously until 2006, when lost his seat in the midterm elections to Democratic challenger Sherrod Brown.



In 2004, Senator DeWine authored the senate version of House Resolution 1997 - Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004, which recognized a "child in utero" as a legal victim and protected him or her as such if they were injured or killed during the event of any of over sixty listed federal crimes of violence. The bill went on to pass through the United States Senate by a vote of 61 - 38.[19]

Gun rights

In 2005, DeWine authored Senate Bill 954 - The Firearms Fairness and Security Act that extended the lifetime bans on gun ownership for United States citizens who happened to receive a conviction in a foreign country, which carried a jail term of a year or more.[20]

For his support of the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban as well as his "opposition to legislation which barred gun manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers from frivolous lawsuits designed to put them out of business," DeWine received the endorsement of the pro-gun control political activist group, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, their first senatorial affirmation for the 2006 election cycle.[21][22]

Additionally, that same year, the conservative political magazine, Human Events, named him as the tenth most anti-gun politician in the United States Senate.[23]

Lieutenant Governor of Ohio (1990-1994)

DeWine left Congress in 1990 to run for Lieutenant Governor of Ohio as the running mate of George Voinovich. The Voinovich-DeWine ticket won handily, and he served as Lieutenant Governor for one term before pursuing a U.S. Senate seat.

U.S. House of Representatives (1982-1990)

DeWine had only served two years in the state senate before he choosing to campaign for the United States House of Representatives seat vacated by Congressman Bud Brown. He was re-elected to represent the 7th Congressional District three times before resigning in 1990 to campaign as George Voinovich's running-mate in the Ohio gubernatorial election.

Ohio State Senate (1980-1982)

Four years after his first election victory in 1976 as Greene County Prosecutor, DeWine was elected to a single term in the Ohio State Senate.



See also: Ohio attorney general election, 2014

DeWine ran for re-election as Ohio Attorney General in 2014.[24] DeWine won the Republican nomination in the unopposed primary on May 6, 2014. The general election took place November 4, 2014.


General election
Attorney General of Ohio, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMike DeWine Incumbent 61.5% 1,882,048
     Democratic David Pepper 38.5% 1,178,426
Total Votes 3,060,474
Election Results via Ohio Secretary of State.

Race background

Incumbent Republican Mike DeWine faced a single challenger, Democrat David Pepper, in the 2014 general election for Ohio Attorney General. Both candidates were unopposed in the primary.

The Columbus Dispatch, in a review of the candidates, opined that, "The DeWine-Pepper clash has been the most spirited of statewide campaigns other than the gubernatorial race."[25] In late August, the Ohio GOP released a poll showing DeWine leading Pepper 60 percent to 31 percenet, while the Ohio Democratic Party withheld their poll results for the attorney general's race, leading to speculation that their numbers for Pepper were similarly poor.[26] Yet the fact that the Ohio GOP commissioned a poll specifically for the attorney general race, coupled with efforts to attack David Pepper, indicated that the election was still up in the air.

Issues and ads in the campaign

See also: Ohio attorney general election, 2014

State Democrats expected Pepper to close the gap as his advertising campaign began in the fall.[26] In late September, the DeWine campaign aired ads in response to an ad by left-leaning advocacy group Moving Ohio Forward attacking DeWine. Republicans criticized Pepper for allegedly collecting a large number of parking fines and not completing continuing legal education requirements.[26] Democrats, in turn, charged that DeWine did not adequately deal with Ohio's heroin problem, violence against women or school safety.[25]

Minor party legislation

See also: Ballot access requirements for political candidates in Ohio

In late 2013, Ohio passed two laws that allegedly restricted minor parties' participation in the 2014 elections. The Libertarian Party of Ohio filed lawsuits against both laws, the outcomes of which had the potential to alter the candidate landscape of this race.[27] On October 17, 2014, Libertarian Party candidate for attorney general, Steven R. Linnabary, and gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl were disqualified from the ballot by federal judge Michael H. Watson.[28]


See also: Ohio Attorney General election, 2010

On November 2, 2010, Mike DeWine won election to the office of Ohio Attorney General. He defeated Richard Cordray (D), Robert Owens (C) and Marc Feldman (L) in the general election.

Ohio Attorney General, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMike DeWine 47.5% 1,821,414
     Democratic Richard Cordray (D) 46.3% 1,772,728
     Constitution Robert Owens 3.4% 130,065
     Libertarian Marc Feldman 2.8% 107,521
Total Votes 3,831,728
Election Results Via: Ohio Secretary of State

  • 2010 Race for Attorney General - Republican Primary
  • Mike DeWine ran unopposed in this contest


2006 Race for United States Senate - Republican Primary[29]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Mike DeWine 71.7%
     Republican Party David R. Smith 14.5%
     Republican Party William G. Pierce 13.8%
Total Votes 788,744
2006 Race for United States Senate - General Election[30]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Sherrod Brown 56.2%
     Republican Party Mike DeWine 43.8%
     Nonpartisan Richard Duncan 0.02%
Total Votes 4,019,407


2000 Race for United States Senate - General Election[31]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Mike DeWine 71.7%
     Democratic Party Ted Celeste 14.5%
     Libertarian Party John McAlister 13.8%
     Nonpartisan Richard Duncan 13.8%
Total Votes 4,800,009

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for DeWine is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, DeWine raised a total of $8,563,385 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 13, 2013.[32]

Mike DeWine's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Ohio Attorney General Not up for election $2,352,399
2010 Ohio Attorney General Won $6,210,986
Grand Total Raised $8,563,385


Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Mike DeWine's donors each year.[33] Click [show] for more information.

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DeWine currently resides in Cedarville, Ohio with his wife, Frances Struewing. The couple has had eight children together, one of whom died tragically in a car accident in 1993. They are also the proud grandparents of nineteen grandchildren. DeWine is also a practicing Roman Catholic.[4]

Contact Information

Capitol Address:

Ohio Attorney General Richard DeWine
30 East Broad Street, 17th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-3428

Phone: (614) 466-4320

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Ohio Secretary of State, "Attorney General election results: November 2, 2010," accessed July 23, 2013
  2. New York Times, "Election 2014 – Ohio," accessed November 4, 2014
  3. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "DeWINE, Michael," accessed July 23, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ohio Attorney General, "About Mike DeWine," accessed July 23, 2013
  5. SPAN USA "Suicide Prevention Action Network USA Honors Senator Mike DeWine" 12 May, 2006
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Bloomberg Business Week, "Ohio Must Restore Three Days of Early Voting, Judge Rules," August 31, 2012
  7. The Hill, "Judge grants injunction against ohio early-voting law," August 31, 2011
  8. On the Issues, "Mike DeWine on Healthcare" 31 Dec. 2003
  9. The Columbus Dispatch, "Ohio won't join states' suit over health reform" 30 March, 2010
  10. The Plain Dealer, "Lawsuit to challenge constitutionality of the health care reform bill" 23 March, 2010
  11. The Columbus Dispatch, "Should Ohio join attempt to overturn health-care law? | Yes" 1 April, 2010
  12., "Ohio attorney general certifies petition for same-sex marriage amendment to state constitution (poll)," April 3, 2012
  13. Los Angeles Times, "FDA should regulate e-cigarettes, 40 state attorneys general say," September 24, 2013
  14. Wall Street Journal, "Press Release: AG Coakley Urges FDA to Regulate E-Cigarettes, Prohibit Sales to Minors," September 24, 2013
  15. Reuters, "UPDATE 1-State attorneys general urge FDA to regulate e-cigarettes," September 25, 2013
  16. National Association of Attorneys General, " Letter to the FDA," September 24, 2013
  17., "Ohio AG DeWine switches from Romney to Santorum," February 17, 2012
  18., "Romney picks up Mike Turner’s endorsement," January 17, 2012
  19. FOX News, "Senate Passes Unborn Victims Bill" 26 March, 2004
  20. OpenCongress: S.954 - Firearms Fairness and Security Act
  21. NRA-ILA "Brady Campaign Endorses DeWine" 23 June, 2006 (dead link)
  22. Buckeye Firearms Association, "Is anti-gun Brady Campaign's DeWine endorsement MEANT to help him lose?" 10 Oct. 2006
  23. Human Events, "Top 10 Anti-Gun Senators" 21 June, 2006 (dead link)
  24., Mike DeWine's re-election war chest armed with more than $1 million, July 31, 2013
  25. 25.0 25.1 The Columbus Dispatch, "Attorney general candidates DeWine, Pepper are vastly different," September 21, 2014
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2, "Republican poll forecasts landslide for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. So why is the GOP pecking away at Democrat David Pepper?" August 27, 2014
  27. The Columbus Dispatch, "Federal judge suspends Ohio law concerning who can collect petition signatures," January 3, 2014
  28., "Libertarian Charlie Earl's removal from November ballot upheld by federal judge," October 17, 2014
  29. Ohio Secretary of State - 2006 Republican Primary Election Results
  30. Ohio Secretary of State - 2006 General Election Results
  31. Ohio Secretary of State - 2000 General Election Results
  32. Follow the Money, " Career fundraising for Mike DeWine," accessed May 13, 2013
  33. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015

Political offices
Preceded by
Richard Cordray (D)
Ohio Attorney General
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Howard M. Metzenbaum
United States Senate - Ohio
Succeeded by
Sherrod Brown
Preceded by
Paul R. Leonard
Lieutenant Governor of Ohio
Succeeded by
Nancy P. Hollister
Preceded by
Clarence J. "Bud" Brown Jr.
United States House of Representatives - District 7
Succeeded by
Dave Hobson