Ohio secretary of state stumps for Greco-Smith

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Ironton mayoral candidate Kelly Greco-Smith gathers with Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and supporters, following an event at the city’s farmers market on Sunday. (The Ironton Tribune | Heath Harrison)

LaRose talks U.S. Senate race while campaigning for mayoral candidate

Ironton mayoral candidate Kelly Greco-Smith got a boost for her campaign over the weekend, with the first statewide official to campaign in the race.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose met with Greco-Smith and her supporters for an event at the Ironton Farmers market on Sunday.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose interacts with an infant at a campaign event for Ironton mayoral candidate Kelly Greco-Smith at the city’s farmers market on Sunday. (The Ironton Tribune | Heath Harrison)

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While candidates appear on the ballot as a nonpartisan race, Greco-Smith did not shy away from her Republican leaning, with the party’s elephant displayed prominently on a backdrop behind her.

Greco-Smith, who works as field representative for Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague, has been endorsed by LaRose, as well as U.S. Reps Brad Wenstrup and Bill Johnson, both Republicans who serve southern Ohio.

Greco-Smith will face incumbent Ironton Mayor Sam Cramblit II on the Nov. 7 ballot, as well as Third and Center founder Amanda Cleary, council member Chris Perry and former council member Hugh Scott.

Greco-Smith said LaRose has “done a fantastic job” as secretary of state and said she was appreciative of her supporters.

“I feel very positive about it,” she said of where she thinks the campaign stands, stating she felt there would be a runoff.

In order to win election as Ironton mayor, a candidate must win 40 percent of votes cast. If no candidate reaches that threshold, the top two candidates will then face off in a runoff.

“And to be in a runoff, you only need to be in the top two,” she said, noting that, if one takes place, it would be set for Nov. 21, two weeks after the general election.

LaRose cited his relationship working with both Greco-Smith and her husband, Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals Judge Jason Smith.

“I’ve known Kelly and the judge for years, her husband, and I know her work as the regional liaison for the Ohio treasurer,” LaRose said. “We’ve worked together on that and, obviously, she was endorsed by the county Republican Party. That, to me, speaks very strongly. I think it’s time for this community to have fresh blood and a new voice in the mayor’s seat. I think she’s the one that will do that.”

LaRose said they were going to spend the evening going door-to-door, talking to voters, something he said he was doing across the state in many races and on a state issue dealing with abortion.

LaRose, who was elected as secretary of state in 2018, is running for U.S. Senate in 2024, challenging incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown, who is seeking a fourth term.

“I’m on the ballot next year and there will be a time to focus my campaign on that. For the next few weeks, I want to help good, local Republican candidates,” he said. “I want to defeat Issue One, so I’m going to be out here putting in the work.”

LaRose said he would make a return visit to Ironton to knock on doors if there is a runoff election.