State Auditor: Barbara Sykes (D) will run
According to this story in the Akron Beacon Journal, blogged today by High and Broad, State Rep. Barbara Sykes (D-Akron) will run for State Auditor, setting up a primary contest with County Treasurer John Reardon (D-Youngstown). Sykes has recently led the Ohio House African-American Legislative Caucus. She had previously said she would retire from state politics, but credits a conversation with DNC Chair Howard Dean in Columbus last week with helping to change her mind. Her husband and statehouse predecessor, Kent State University professor Vernon Sykes, is reported to have taken out petitions to run for the 44th District House seat. Also in that race is William T. Green.
The State Auditor race will get lots of attention, and money, because along with the Governor and Secretary of State the Auditor plays a key role in legislative redistricting. The Republican candidate is State Rep. Mary Taylor (R-Uniontown). Sykes' entry into the race is also significant because it brings some measure of racial diversity to the Democratic statewide ticket. Two major Republican statewide candidates, Ken Blackwell in the gubernatorial race and Jennette Bradley in the race for treasurer, are African-American.