Gov.-elect Mike DeWine announces key administration hires


Governor-elect Mike DeWine is stocking his cabinet with loyal staffers who in some cases have been at his side for decades.

DeWine on Tuesday announced Laurel Dawson as his chief of staff, Mary Mertz as director of the Department of Natural Resources, Ann O’Donnell as chief advisor, Alisha Nelson as director of RecoveryOhio, which will focus on the opioid crisis, and Ervan Rodgers, II, as the top information technology officer for the state.

Each of the five either work for the Attorney General now or have worked for DeWine in his previous elected offices. Mertz served as chief of staff to DeWine when he was lieutenant governor. O’Donnell started her career as his speechwriter in 1999. Dawson as his chief of staff while he was in Congress and the U.S. Senate.

Related: Who is Mike DeWine?

DeWine, a Republican, also picked General John C. Harris, Jr. for Adjutant General, who commands the 17,000 members of Ohio Army and Air National Guard.

Harris and Mertz’ appointments require confirmation by the Ohio Senate.

DeWine previously named Dawson as head of his transition team, Lisa Peterson as his communications chief and LeeAnne Cornyn as director of children’s initiatives.

DeWine, who takes office Jan. 14, said he will announce appointments to key positions as he makes those decisions.



Reader Comments


Next Up in Politics

Bath Twp. vote on fire contracts tonight will end Fairborn agreement
Bath Twp. vote on fire contracts tonight will end Fairborn agreement

Bath Twp. trustees are expected to approve new contracts tonight for fire and EMS service, ending a long-standing relationship with the city of Fairborn. Contracts agreements were reached this week with Bethel, Miami and Beavercreek townships, and Bath Twp. trustees will consider approving the agreements at their meeting tonight. RELATED: A fire contract...
Dayton Mayor Whaley launches group urging Sen. Brown to run for president
Dayton Mayor Whaley launches group urging Sen. Brown to run for president

Two key Ohio Democrats have launched a committee aimed at “drafting” Sen. Sherrod Brown to run for president in 2020. The Committee to Draft Sherrod Brown for President 2020 — led by Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Cleveland attorney Michael Wager — aims to advocate for Brown’s candidacy and talk about Brown’s key message...
John Boehner bio: Former Speaker, local congressman writing memoir
John Boehner bio: Former Speaker, local congressman writing memoir

Coming soon to a bookstore near you: The Boehner bio. Politico reported Monday that former House Speaker John Boehner is at work on a memoir about his time in Washington, a more than 20 year span lasting from when he was a rabble-rousing freshman lawmaker in 1991 to his retirement as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2015. A Boehner spokesman...
Democrats try to pick up pieces after election defeats; more asking question: Is Ohio a red state?
Democrats try to pick up pieces after election defeats; more asking question: Is Ohio a red state?

Democrats in Ohio couldn’t match the gains the party made in other states, and now some observers are wondering if the state itself should be colored in a deep shade of red. That has implications beyond politics, because Ohio has long benefited from its swing-state reputation, which brings candidates, media attention and increased spending to...
New rules in Ohio could close some child care businesses
New rules in Ohio could close some child care businesses

More than two-thirds of the providers in southwest Ohio who serve families with publicly funded child care are at risk of losing the ability to accept state funds when new rules go into effect in 18 months, a Dayton Daily News investigation found. The new rules and rating system were aimed at exposing more children to enrichment programs and educational...
More Stories