Although physician Jon Heavey and paramedic Adam Hudak aren't officially on the ballot for Ohio’s governor, they aren’t upending their campaign.
The political newcomers announced a surprise decision to join the May 8th Democratic gubernatorial ticket, which already includes Rich Cordray, Larry Ealy, Dennis Kucinich, Bill O’Neill, Paul Ray and Joe Schiavoni.
However, the Statehouse News Bureau said that Heavey and Hudak did not collect enough valid signatures to get on the ballot.
The two challenged the decision, citing, “backroom shenanigans” and attempts by the state to “disenfranchise voters” through candidate exclusion.
Heavey expects the decision, currently being reviewed by the Ohio Supreme Court, to be handed down sometime this week.
If it doesn’t go their way, Heavey said, “We can file petitions to take an independent shot if need be.”
Setting aside the current legal battle, the candidate reinforced why he wanted to run in the first place.
The veteran, and father of four, said he was generally concerned with the national dialogue and what the political arena looked like, specifically in November 2016.
Heavey said he decided to run for elected office after he saw what’s transpired with Trump, including what happened in Charlottesville and the president’s cowardice to fail to condemn the KKK and Neo-Nazis.
“Adam and I both work within the community and we decided, even though we’re outsiders to the process, that we’d throw our hats in the ring and see what we could do.”
Despite a staunch criticism of President Trump, whom Heavey refers to as “a draft dodging coward,” the gubernatorial hopeful seems to take a page out of the president’s campaign playbook, using “drain the swamp” rhetoric.
In a pitch to student voters, Heavey painted himself as an outsider who offers something different from career politicians who are entrenched in insider interests on both sides of the aisle.
Heavey avoided details about plans for higher education, mentioning an “entire platform” the candidates plan to roll out after the court’s decision.
“We believe there’s a lot of opportunity with the institutions of higher education here in Ohio," Heavey said.
Wading into other state issues, Heavey declined to take a static platform with one political polarity or the other and instead has developed a polling technology to ask people what they think the most important problems are.
“The People’s Platform,” which is still being built, will be available at jonheavey.com to give voters a chance to propose the best solutions to state issues.
“Above all else, Adam and I believe in putting country and community first, ahead of partisan politics,” Heavey said.