Ohio Secretary of State Candidates

Mariam Makatsaria


Nina Turner

Party: Democratic



Democratic State Sen. Nina Turner is a former Cleveland councilwoman. She served as the mayor of Cleveland’s Executive Assistant for Legislative Affairs, as well as the Director of Government Affairs for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. She was elected as the first woman to represent Cleveland’s Ward 1 on city council. She was then appointed to the vacant 25th Ohio Senate seat and two years later for a full term. She is also a professor of history at the Cuyahoga Community College.

Why should I care?

As a first generation college graduate, she said she takes pride in helping young people achieve their dreams through education, according to her official election website. Turner said that voting should be simple, accessible and secure. “What better way to get our young people engaged than to pre-register them?” Turner tweeted Oct. 28. “The greatest way to ‘grow’ voters is to start the conversation.” 


Jon Husted

Party: Republican


Republican incumbent Jon Husted is seeking re-election as the Ohio Secretary of State. Husted, who became secretary of state in 2011, is a former Ohio House speaker and state senator from the Dayton area. 

Why should I care?

He helped lead the passage of the Ed Choice Scholarship — a school choice option for children trapped in failing schools — and the creation of the Choose Ohio First Scholarship to encourage Ohio students studying in STEM disciplines. His goals include enhancing “economic growth and job creation using technology and customer service practices that save businesses time and money,” according to his website. 

Message to KSU students:

Husted visited Kent State Sept. 5. to discuss the importance of democracy and the Military Ready-to-Vote program with the Kent State College Republicans.

“Even when you get frustrated with things and even when it doesn’t feel like you’re having much of an impact, that’s the time to work harder — not the time to quit,” Husted said in an article published in the Sept. 6 The Kent Stater. “Because every generation of Americans has had to face a difficult time in their lives — either economically or globally or politically — because that’s what self-governance is about.”


Kevin Knedler

Party: Libertarian


Kevin Knedler has been the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of Ohio since 2007. He has also served on the Libertarian National Committee and was the recipient of the 2010 Samuel Adams national LP award for activism, according to his website. 

Why should I care?:

As Secretary of State, Knedler said he plans to increase awareness of the election process, especially to younger voters. Knedler’s official website states that this effort will include social media and more speaking events at universities and colleges. He said the Secretary of State office would have an open door to ideas to increase voter participation, which could include a college liaison. He will “be an independent voice, not beholden to special interests of the two major political parties” and “will put the citizens of Ohio first,” according to his website.

Message to KSU Students:

Knedler was in Kent on Oct. 2012 for the Gary Johnson rally in Streetsboro.

“I made a point of walking your campus the next day and also studying the events of May 1970,” Knedler said in an email interview.