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Cincinnati-area lawmaker to run for state treasurer

State Rep. Connie Pillich on Monday said she’s running for state treasurer, making her the third Democrat to announce a statewide bid in 2014 against current Republican officeholders.

Pillich, 52 of Montgomery, is an attorney and a former captain in the U.S. Air Force who served eight years of active duty. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration, and was first elected as a state representative in 2008 in a Republican-leaning district north of Cincinnati.

Pillich would challenge Republican Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, 35, who also has a military background and a law degree.

Pillich said in an interview that her military, legal and business background experience qualify her to be state treasurer.

“I see this office as a natural extension of my lifetime of service,” she said.

She also took digs at Mandel, rehashing talking points Democrats used against Mandel during his unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate in 2012. She criticized Mandel for launching his senate bid just not long after he was elected to the treasurer’s office, for not attending meetings of the State Board of Deposit and for hiring inexperienced campaign workers into key positions in the treasurer’s office.

“We need someone who’s committed to putting the needs of Ohioans first, someone who actually wants the job, and not just someone who’s using (the treasurer’s office) as a stepping stone,” Pillich said.

Following Pillich’s announcement, Ohio Republican Party Executive Director Matt Borges issued a statement tying her to the “disastrous fiscal policies” of Democrats who controlled the majority of Ohio state government in 2009 and 2010.

“Josh Mandel has worked tirelessly for Ohioans as a watchdog of our tax dollars, and his record of cutting his own budget, modernizing his office and earning a ‘AAA’ credit rating on the multi-billion dollar investment fund he manages speaks for itself,” Borges said.

Also likely appearing on the 2014 Democratic statewide slate are Cuyahoga County Administrator Ed FitzGerald and Hamilton County attorney David Pepper; both announced last month they were running for governor and attorney general, respectively.

All statewide elected positions are currently held by Republicans, who swept the 2010 election, and all have said they will seek re-election.

Two more Democrats are expected to fill out the party’s 2014 statewide slate: Cleveland state Sen. Nina Turner for secretary of state and Columbus state Rep. John Patrick Carney for state auditor.

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