Current Lt. Gov. Says Vetting Process Gives Insight Into Decision Making

UPDATED: Wednesday December 11, 2013 3:06 PM

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor says the handling of the choice for a gubernatorial running mate can give clues about the leadership style of the person seeking to be the states chief executive.

"You see it in the policy decisions being made," said Taylor.  "You see it in the reform of government programs that we've pushed the last couple of years.  And, I would suggest what we went through in the vetting process was no different than that."

Taylor's comments in an exclusive interview with 10TV come just a day after Democratic Lieutenant Governor hopeful Eric Kearney withdrew from the ticket after it was revealed his businesses owed more than $830,000 in back taxes to the federal and state government.

Taylor was Ohio Auditor in 2010 when then gubernatorial candidate John Kasich asked her to be on the GOP ticket.

"I think the best way to describe it is it was exactly what you would expect from Kasich and his team," said Taylor.  "It is a group of people who focus on challenges and issues.  They want to make sure they are fully aware of all of the information that's relevant and necessary to make an informed decision."

Sources close to the Kasich campaign in 2010 say that Kasich first asked Taylor to accept the Lieutenant Governor position, and after she agreed, a four to six week vetting process was triggered.

Taylor says she left the process to the campaign.

"I wasn't really involved in the vetting process because the campaign staff did it," said Taylor.  “Obviously there was coordination with me regarding questions but I don't really know when the vetting process started."

Taylor would not offer comments about the Kearney situation or speculate on names being circulated for his replacement.

"I have no expectations on who I'll face," said Taylor.  "I'm focused on the Department of Insurance and our work there, and working with Gov. Kasich to keep Ohio back on track."

In a letter to supporters today, FitzGerald acknowledged that Kearney's tax issues had knocked Democrats off their message.

"We agreed that it is best for Sen. Kearney to step down from the ticket," wrote FitzGerald.  "The campaign will now move on with the discussion squarely focused where it should be: How we can refocus state policies to benefit working people and middle-class families who are finding it increasingly difficult to get by in John Kasich's faltering economy."

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