PDT Staff Writer
The 85th Annual Scioto County Lincoln Day Banquet was held Tuesday night at the SOMC Friends Center with a record number in attendance. The keynote speakers for the event included former congressman Bob McEwen and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
Also in attendance were Ohio Senator Joe Uecker, Ohio State Representative Dr. Terry Johnson, and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy. Matthew Borges, current Ohio Republican Party Executive Director was in attendance as well.
During his speech, McEwen pointed out that current Scioto County Co-Chair Kay Reynolds is in the running to be the next vice chairwoman of the Ohio Republican party and Borges is in the running to be the next party chairman. McEwen said those decisions will be made in April.
DeWine spoke about his time as Attorney General and some of the progress that has been made since he took office.
“If nothing else tonight, I want to thank you. Thank you, for giving me the opportunity to serve (as attorney general). It was a tough race, quite frankly when I lost the race for United States Senate in 2006, a lot of people said, ‘he’s finished’ and I could have done that,” DeWine said. “But, I decided I wanted to serve as Attorney General, I wanted to take the experience I had in Congress, the state legislature and as a county prosecuting attorney, with me into this office.”
He said going into the election for the office, DeWine knew he wanted to redefine the role.
“I wanted to fight every single day, to protect Ohio families and put the Attorney General’s office at the center of that fight,” DeWine said. “We won that race in part because of what you did and what other counties along the river did.”
Since his election to attorney general, DeWine described the experience a wild ride.
“During the election Fran (DeWine) and I would be going in different directions, to campaign. Night after night we would meet back at the house and Fran had been campaigning in southern Ohio. She would come back and say she had been in Scioto, Adams, Jackson, Lawrence or Brown Counties and here is what they told me what the big problem was,” DeWine said. “We all know what it was, it was the pill problem. We lose four people everyday in this state who dies of accidental overdose of drugs. A lot of those are prescription drugs. Two-thirds of those are not their own prescription.”
DeWine said when he became Attorney General, he began to take on this issue.
“We started closing the pill mills and we went after the bad doctors. I’ll never forget early on we had a raid right here in Portsmouth. We had this doctor under surveillance, he had 10 different offices all over the state and there would be a sign on the office door saying when he would be in town and what hours. We had his office under surveillance that day. We went in at 11:20 a.m. and by that time he had seen 44 patients that morning,” DeWine said. “When I went in there and looked around, there was no nurse, no receptionist and no medical equipment, just this doctor writing prescriptions. So, we dealt with that.”
He said it was about that time when his office started working with SOLACE and other advocacy groups.
DeWine also told those in attendance about some of the other things going on within the Attorney General’s office.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org.