The Folk School Coffee Parlor is a place where folk musicians meet, jam, teach lessons, even square dance, and drink coffee. It's also where Jerry Springer records a podcast every two weeks. The Enquirer/Meg Vogel
Citing his age and responsibilities to his family, an emotional Jerry Springer announced Wednesday that he will not be running for governor of Ohio.
“I have responsibilities that are my life,” Springer, a Democrat, said in The Jerry Springer Podcast. The decision came after Springer, 73, said he talked with his family over Thanksgiving.
Springer, a former Cincinnati mayor and tabloid talk show host, said this was not a point in his life where he could make a potentially five-year commitment to politics.
His announcement disappointed but didn't surprise local Democrats. After hearing his announcement, Hamilton County Democratic Chairman Tim Burke emailed Springer Thursday morning.
Springer indicated spending time with family, particularly a new grandchild, played a role, Burke said. Still, Burke said he'd like to have seen Springer make a run for the governor's office.
"It would be a lot of fun if he were the Democratic candidate," Burke said. "He would have taken a lot of heat, but Jerry is terrific on the stump."
Springer told The Enquirer in February that he would be "Trump without the racism" because he could get a lot of the populist vote Donald Trump received.
Springer has taken a step back from local politics as well, Burke said. He's donated $40,000 a year to the Hamilton County Democratic Party, but this year, he gave $20,000. Burke referenced Springer's dwindling involvement Wednesday night to a crowd of Democrats gathered in Evendale to discuss the future of the party. He hoped to press them to prepare as some longtime Democratic leaders step back, including Burke himself, who looks to step down as chairman next year after 25 years in the position.
"Like the rest of us, Jerry is getting busy doing other things," Springer said. "His contributions of $40,000 a year are not going to continue into infinity."
Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill, former state Rep. Connie Pillich, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley are running for governor as Democrats.
Democrats expect former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau leader Rich Cordray to enter the race. He resigned from the federal post last week.
None of them have the name recognition of Jerry Springer. That's why Democrats for much of the past tried to convince Springer to run. In August, he asked some Cleveland Democrats: "Is it too late to enter the Ohio governor's race?"
At this time in Springer's life, maybe it is.