Ohio Senator Joe Schiavoni is running for Governor

The Question is Why?

By Scott Pullins


One of the most frustrating things we find with term limits is the belief of many legislators that they are automatically qualified to run for higher office.  Case in point, today’s 3rd Rail Politics profile subject, Ohio Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D—Boardman).


Senator Schiavoni graduated from Ohio University with a degree in communications and earned his law degree at Capital University in 2004.  He then joined his family’s law firm where he practiced personal injury and worker’s compensation law.  At age 28, having never held public office, he was appointed to a vacancy in the Ohio Senate.  He won his first full term in 2010 by a 60 percent margin and was unopposed in 2014 for his second term.  


Today, he presides over the nine member, out of thirty three, Senate Democrat Caucus, the smallest in modern Ohio history.  In other words, he has the least power of almost any elected official in Columbus, and even worse, he’ll soon be out of that job due to term limits.  


So what does a 37 year old term limited legislator do next?  Why of course, run for Governor.


And since statewide races are expensive he has decided to make beating up charter schools, especially online charter schools, the focus of his race.  In fact, he is so rabidly anti school choice that he has argued that Ohio public schools are woefully underfunded.  


We know right?  


According to the Ohio Coalition for Quality Education, Youngstown City Schools, which is smack in the middle of Schiavoni’s district, received a whopping $26,412.00 per student in 2016.  That’s nearly four times more than any charter school in Ohio receives.


By the way, these are the same Youngstown City Schools that are so bad that their management was taken over by the state of Ohio.  This was only after years of being in both academic and fiscal emergencies.  


He really, really wants money from the big government public employee unions.  


And his most recent campaign finance report probably indicates why.  He starts his statewide race with a whopping $39,366.99 in the bank.  


That’s just about enough to maybe run for state representative in a safe district or a lower level countywide office in a medium sized county.  But it certainly isn’t enough to run statewide.  It’s not even a good start.


What’s a more likely future for Joe Schiavoni?  Election to the Ohio House.  His predecessor in the Ohio Senate, John Boccieri, is currently representing Schiavoni’s Ohio House district.  Look for them to switch seats in 2018.