Husted: I want Ohio to be No. 1 in something other than drug overdoses


Jon Husted remembers where he was when he read about the overdose deaths of a Spirit Airlines pilot and his wife from Centerville.

He was heading back from Northeast Ohio when he read the news of the couple who were found dead by their children in March, Husted said on Monday on the flight deck of the University of Dayton Arena. Husted, Ohio’s secretary of state, was at UD to launch his 2018 bid for the Republican nomination for Ohio governor.

RELATED: In campaign launch, Husted says he ‘learned how to win’ at UD

Prior to serving as secretary of state, Husted said he represented the legislative district the Centerville couple lived in.

“It makes you feel like you have a responsibility to do something about it,” Husted said. “There’s no doubt we have an opioid addiction problem in Ohio.”

Husted linked the opioid epidemic to the disappearance of factory jobs in Ohio. He said that when people lose hope, they sometimes turn to alcohol and drugs.

RELATED: Who is Jon Husted?

If there were more and better jobs in Ohio, Husted said fewer people would turn to alcohol and drugs in times of weakness.

“I want Ohio to be number one in something other than drug overdoses,” Husted said. “I promise you if we were number one in education and job creation, we would not be number one in overdose deaths.”

RELATED: Spirit Airlines pilot’s overdose raises safety questions

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The children of Brian Hayle and Courtney Halye found their parents dead in their home on East Von Dette Circle on March 14. Brian Hayle was an active pilot for Spirit Airlines.

Following Hayle’s death, a Dayton Daily News investigation found that pilots can go years without being tested for drug and alcohol, even as testing has increased over the years.

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