DeWine under fire for controversial endorsement - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

DeWine under fire for controversial endorsement

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Mike DeWine Mike DeWine

The Ohio Attorney General and Republican candidate for Governor, Mike DeWine received an endorsement Monday afternoon that has some raising their eyebrows. 

The controversial Sheriff of Butler County Richard Jones endorsed the DeWine/Husted ticket on Monday saying, "As Attorney General, Mike DeWine has done some great things cracking down on drug cartels and drug dealers that bring fentanyl into Ohio," said Jones. "Mike understands that Ohio needs a Governor who will be a friend to law enforcement, be tough on violent criminals, and oppose dangerous liberal policies like sanctuary cities. I spoke with Mike several times this weekend and I'm confident that both he and Jon Husted will do all of those things."

Sheriff Jones made national headlines over the summer when he announced that he refused to equip his deputies with Narcan, the drug that has saved the lives of countless overdosing addicts.

In July, Sheriff Jones told NBC News, "All we're doing is reviving them, we're not curing them. One person we know has been revived 20 separate times."But, Jones hastened to add, "We don't go there and let people die."

"Here in Ohio, the live squads (paramedics) get in there about the same time and they're more equipped to use Narcan," he said. "The people who use drugs don't usually like the police and they turn violent once they're revived."

DeWine, who is currently the Attorney General for Ohio, and the top dog in law enforcement in the state, has promised that tackling the opioid epidemic will be one of his strongest focuses as Governor. 

In May 2017, DeWine announced a lawsuit against several of the largest opioid painkiller manufacturers. DeWine previously said he's looking to make sure the drug manufacturers are held responsible, and that if the companies are willing to come forward with serious settlement offers and collaborative techniques he would consider them. 

The Attorney General said that the cost of battling the epidemic is into the billions of dollars, and said he adamantly believes that the money should not come from the taxpayers, but rather from the companies who helped to create the crisis. 

Among DeWine's list of potential solutions, DeWine said the first step would be to pass legislation giving the Governor the ability to declare a public health emergency statewide or in specific areas, which would allow for the distribution of money and other resources to local entities that are facing unexpected emergency conditions like overdose spikes.

DeWine has even told 21 News that he would "be open"  to using the state's rainy day fund to combat the epidemic. 

In a release, the Ohio Democratic Party called out DeWine saying:

"Ohio is in the middle of a crisis, and our economic future depends on taking bold and aggressive action to deal with the fact that on average more than 11 Ohioans die from drug overdoses every single day," said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. "Mike DeWine has refused to stand up and fight to protect Ohio's Medicaid expansion, which provides more than 150,000 Ohioans with addiction or mental health disorders with health coverage. And rather than challenging Sheriff Jones's heartless stance of refusing to save lives by refusing to allow his deputies to carry Narcan to revive overdose victims, DeWine is gleefully touting his endorsement. The extreme agenda of Mike DeWine and Sheriff Jones would hurt Ohio families, put our economic future at risk and throw gasoline on the raging fire that is our state's opioid crisis."

DeWine responded Tuesday afternoon, saying that he is well aware of the controversial statements by Jones, and that they have talked about it. 

In a statement DeWine said:

Sheriff Jones and I strongly disagree about Naloxone and we've talked about that. As Attorney General, I have reached out to every law enforcement agency in Ohio to encourage them to carry Naloxone to save lives, including their own. Even though we disagree on that issue, Sheriff Jones and I agree on many other issues like cracking down on the drug cartels bringing deadly fentanyl into Ohio and tough sentences for violent criminals

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