POLITICS Gains delays Ohio AG run

The prosecutor said his work here isn't done yet.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul J. Gains said he will not run for Ohio attorney general next year.
"Although I am deeply flattered by the support of so many and would very much savor a run for attorney general -- having the opportunity to serve all Ohioans -- I have concluded that such an endeavor would neither be advisable nor practical at this time," Gains said today.
A two-term county prosecutor, Gains said several factors went into his decision.
Gains said it was highly unlikely that he would be able to raise the needed $2 million to fund a campaign. Also, he said the position would be a tremendous burden on his family, particularly because his mother is in an assisted-living facility.
Another factor, Gains said, is the time he would be campaigning statewide would interfere with his responsibilities as prosecutor.
"As I view [the] recent racketeering trials in Cleveland, it is clear that the continued need for integrity, hard work and vigilance in the Mahoning Valley is essential," he said.
"I began a job for the Mahoning Valley nearly five years ago and, frankly, there's still much more to do."
Discussion: Gains had an initial conversation in August with Ohio Democratic Chairman David Leland about running for attorney general during next year's election.
Leland said Gains was a strong candidate, particularly because he had a compelling story that would attract voters: The local mob ordered a hit on him in an attempt to keep him from taking office.
Gains was wounded in the December 1996 shooting at his home. The shooting was profiled last week on A & amp;E cable television network's "City Confidential."
State Treasurer Joseph Deters, who will run next year in the Republican primary for attorney general, had said Gains was a formidable candidate.
Gains said he never had statewide political aspirations when he challenged James A. Philomena in 1996 for county prosecutor. Gains said he ran because he suspected there were questionable practices in the prosecutor's office and no one else was running.
After leaving the prosecutor's office, Philomena was convicted on state and federal charges of fixing cases while in office.
Gains has not ruled out a statewide run in the future.
"The Democratic Party and the Mahoning Valley desperately need to be represented on the state level," he said. "We have always been a stepchild and only our political participation will change this."