Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor's next job

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Governor or NFL commissioner?

Mary Taylor's camp says it was an innocent, spontaneous moment involving a piece of chalk. When the lieutenant governor visited the Ohio Means Jobs booth at the Ohio State Fair in early August, she gamely completed an "I want to be a…" prompt on a chalkboard with "Governor." Then she was photographed holding the chalkboard, and the picture was posted-Whoops! How'd that happen?-to the ?@MaryTaylorOH Twitter feed.

Observers quickly noted two things. First, Taylor has excellent penmanship, with a cursive capital G worthy of display on a handwriting placard in a third-grade classroom. Second, it seemed entirely possible that she was letting people know she wants to be governor.

In fact, Taylor has made no secret of her gubernatorial aspirations. In October 2015, just nine months after beginning her second term as Gov. John Kasich's No. 2, she formed her own political committee and confirmed she was "seriously considering" a run for the office in 2018.

That's the way it's done, of course. With the race more than two years away, it's too early officially to announce you're running, but it's a perfect time to make it clear you most certainly are not not running.

What social media didn't reveal, however, was that Taylor's delightfully penned response was not her first choice. Her spokesman later told that the first thing she wrote on the chalkboard was "NFL commissioner"-not "Governor."

And there's a certain geographic logic to that, too. Taylor lives in northeastern Ohio, between Canton's Pro Football Hall of Fame and the city of Cleveland, which arguably is home to an NFL team. Still, history suggests governor is a more plausible career move for a lieutenant governor-though the last person to make that transition was George Voinovich, and it took a while. He resigned the lieutenant's office in 1979 to become mayor of Cleveland and wasn't elected governor until 1990.

Clearly, Taylor has a career decision to make. As she weighs the merits of two desirable jobs, these are some of the factors she's likely to consider.