Nelsonville auditor Taylor Sappington jumps into race for state auditor

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — With just days before the filing deadline, the Democrats officially have someone running for Ohio Auditor in this year’s primary.

Taylor Sappington speaks with voters on West Carpenter Street in Athens Ohio
Taylor Sappington, Nelsonville city auditor, announces bid for Ohio Auditor in campaign ad. [Taylor Sappington For State Auditor | Campaign Ad]
Nelsonville city auditor Taylor Sappington has made a name for himself dealing with issues in his Appalachian community.

Sappington said he set out to balance the books and take on corruption when he took office in his southeast Ohio city.

Now Sappington says he wants to take that same approach as state auditor.

“I think a proactive approach is definitely a big part of it. You’ve got to go after it. You’ve got to sense smoke and then go look for the fire,” said Sappington.

Sappington, an openly gay man who grew up in Nelsonville, helped his hometown retain its status as a city by challenging census numbers that downgraded the municipality to a village.

He also touts balancing the city’s budget as one of his accomplishments.

Sappington says there’s too much corruption happening in state government, noting the federal bribery scheme that resulted in the arrest of then-House Speaker Larry Householder.

Sappington said the state auditor’s office is uniquely positioned to take on such scandals.

“And I don’t think it’s nearly as difficult to detect right and wrong as some folks in politics want it to look like. Right. We know something’s wrong, and I know the difference between those things,” said Sappington.

Sappington ran for the Ohio House in 2018 but lost to incumbent Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville).

He’s the first openly LGBTQ+ candidate for statewide office for either party in Ohio.

Sappington’s candidacy fills another slot on the statewide ballot for the Democratic party, leaving them with one more race without a candidate.

Democrats have taken some criticism for not having candidates for all five executive statewide offices yet. The Ohio Democratic Party says a candidate will be announcing their bid for state treasurer before the February 2 filing deadline.

Sappington says he endorsed Democratic candidate Nan Whaley for governor before entering the race but doesn’t plan to make that part of his campaign during the primary.

Auditor Keith Faber is running for re-election in the Republican primary.