DeWine has work to do for all Ohioans

Mike DeWine became Ohio’s governor Monday, as John Kasich leaves Columbus, perhaps to consider his options in 2020.

DeWine has a lot of work ahead of him, and the hopes of a lot Ohioans resting on his shoulders.

There are positive signs already: He has appointed one of the most diverse cabinets in Buckeye State history (pending approval of the state Senate), according to a report from the Cincinnati Enquirer. He immediately signed six executive orders, creating the Governor’s RecoveryOhio Initiative addressing the opioid epidemic, a children’s initiative, focusing on foster care priorities in the state, establishing Ohio as a disability inclusion state, elevating prevention within the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and an anti-discrimination policy.

Of course, he will have to develop a positive working relationship with entrenched lawmakers and bureaucrats — most of whom already know him quite well, but do not yet know Governor DeWine. And as he establishes that relationship, taxpayers will be watching to see how well he will keep the promises he made on the campaign trail.

Government is not the only piece of the puzzle in pulling Ohio — and our little corner of it — out of the funk that has been marked by a continuingly struggling economy and a substance abuse epidemic that is threatening yet another generation. But much can be done if a strong leader in Columbus chooses to avoid playing politics or laying the groundwork for another position and make some headway.

For the most part, the slate is clean for DeWine, right now.

We wish him luck, and hope he keeps his eyes firmly on what is best for Ohioans.