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DeWine won’t focus on impeachment

Some lawmakers draft articles against governor
Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 4:52 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTAP) - Ohio’s governor Tuesday had an answer to an effort in the state legislature to impeach him.

A group of conservative lawmakers Monday drafted articles of impeachment against Governor Mike DeWine over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rep. John Becker, a Republican from Cincinnati announced he has drafted 10 articles of impeachment against the first-term governor.

Becker accuses DeWine of improperly shutting down the March presidential primary, arbitrarily ordering some businesses closed while allowing others to remain open, and instituting an unpopular statewide mask mandate.

The governor Tuesday said he’s going to continue to focus on keeping Ohioans safe and finding ways to turn around the state’s economy.

”Look, it’s a free country. If that’s how they want to spend their time, I would just say to them, have at it. But my focus is to do what I’m sworn to do, to protect the people of the state of Ohio, to get this economy moving faster, to save lives. That’s what I’m going to do.”

Whether or not it was aimed at the impeachment movement in the legislature, the governor earlier in his news briefing Tuesday called on lawmakers to pass legislation he proposed last year after mass shootings in Dayton promoting stricter laws against repeat violent offenders.

Most gun violence, he said, is committed by a “relatively small” number of people who are repeat offenders.

He noted some news reports of gun violence in the past weekend in large cities, including the death of a teenager and an unborn child.

Lost in the fury over Rep. Becker’s move was the fact that many GOP Ohio lawmakers strongly disagree with DeWine’s response to the coronavirus.

House and Senate lawmakers have introduced well over a dozen bills since March attempting to limit DeWine’s ability to respond to the virus through the issuance of public health orders and other emergency measures.

As was the case in West Virginia and states across the country, “stay at home” and “non-essential” business closings resulted in thousands of layoffs and massive unemployment.

Lt. Governor Jon Husted noted Tuesday the state’s unemployment rate since reopenings began in May has fallen from 17% to the current 8.9%.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)

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