Talk show host Jerry Springer is contemplating throwing his hat in the ring for Ohio governor, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Wednesday.
Springer, the former Democratic mayor of Cincinnati, spent months denying rumors that he would run. The rumor mill began again when he asked a group of Cleveland Democrats if it was too late to enter the race.
People have "asked him to run for governor, and he is considering it and will decide that pretty soon," Jene Galvin, who co-hosts a weekly podcast with Springer, told the Enquirer. "He’s about done figuring it out, but he had to give some serious thought to it first.”
Springer has reportedly met with political consultants and Ohio state Democratic power players to determine his viability..
Putting out feelers
Springer met with a crowd of people at a fundraiser for two sophomore representatives shortly after meetingh with consultants. He didn't mention his potential run but instead focused on encouraging the Democratic Party to remain faithful to its values.
Glad to be in attendance @ rep's Stephanie Howse and Janine boyd fundraiser w/Jerry Springer, possible candidate fo… https://t.co/OgjJRVGWcu— Sen. Sandra Williams (@Sen. Sandra Williams) 1503998996.0
So far, a number of organizations have held off in endorsing in the Ohio gubernatorial race until the field is set. Currently, there are four declared Democratic candidates, including former state Rep. Connie Pillich; former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton; Dayton Mayor Nan Whiley; and state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, the former majority leader of the state Senate.
According to Democratic insiders, Springer has a decent shot at the seat. Springer has high name recognition and money — two things the other four candidates are lacking.
"He has one thing that the others all crave and that’s name recognition. Everyone knows who Jerry Springer is," Democratic political consultant Bill DeMora said.
Tim Burke, Springer's former Cincinnati City Council legislative assistant and current Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman, said Springer is able to move a crowd.
"If Jerry decides to run for public office, I will do everything I can to support his candidacy," Burke told the Enquirer.
Prior to his television stardom, Springer ran for multiple political offices. In 1970, he unsuccessfully ran for Congress. He was elected to the Cincinnati City Council in 1971. Springer resigned from his council position in 1974 amid a prostitution scandal but was re-elected the following year. He was chosen in 1977 to serve as Cincinnati mayor on a one-year rotating basis. In 1982, he unsuccessfully ran for governor of Ohio, Fox News reported.
Current Gov. John Kasich (R) is unable to run for re-election because of term limits.