COLUMBUS -- Another lawmaker has announced intentions to seek statewide office in 2018.
In a video posted online over the weekend, state Rep. Robert Sprague (R-Findlay) said he is running for state treasurer.
"It's important to have a fiscal conservative with regards to managing the treasury, because those dollars are valuable and you want to make sure that each and every dollar is well used and also protected," Sprague said in his announcement video. He added later during a phone interview, "The primary job of the treasurer is to invest and protect the people's money, the taxpayers' money."
Sprague was appointed to the general assembly in 2011 and is eligible to seek another term in the House. According to biographical information compiled by the Ohio House, he is a Findlay native who previously served as auditor and treasurer of that city.
During his terms in the Ohio House, Sprague has been active in working on legislation addressing the state's heroin epidemic -- work that he said he would like to continue if elected state treasurer. He mentioned the possibility of providing state support, via social impact bonding, to pilot projects by local groups who are finding success in addressing that issue.
"I think that there needs to be innovation," he said. "We need to try new things, in terms of how we treat heroin addiction."
Other potential initiatives he mentioned included investing in bonds to support Israel as part of the nation's fight against Islamic terrorism and helping residents better understand programs to assist disabled residents lead independent lives and to make college more affordable.
Sprague is the first candidate to announce his intentions to run for state treasurer. Franklin County Treasurer Clarence Mingo is seriously considering running for that office, too. He said Monday that he would have an announcement about his 2018 intentions in the near future.
Last week, state Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) announced her candidacy for secretary of state, while state Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) announced his bid for governor.
Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor earlier announced the formation a gubernatorial campaign committee.
And current state Treasurer Josh Mandel hopes to unseat Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown next year.
Marc Kovac covers the Ohio Statehouse for Gatehouse Media. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.