Ohio elections chief Jon Husted joins 2018 race for governor

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO’-sted) is entering the race for Ohio governor.

The Republican becomes the second Republican to join the 2018 gubernatorial field in what is expected to be a crowded race to replace GOP Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik), who’s term-limited.

His announcement Sunday at the University of Dayton, his alma mater, is being followed by a campaign tour across the state. Stops include Williams and Licking counties, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chillicothe, Washington Court House and Circleville.

The 49-year-old Husted is a former state senator and Ohio House speaker. He’s in his second term as the battleground state’s elections chief, where he’s drawn criticism at times from voting rights advocates.

He joins U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (reh-NAY’-see) in seeking the Republican nomination.