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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A pair of powerhouse Republicans in Ohio is moving from rivalry to cooperation in the 2018 race for Ohio governor.

Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO’-sted), both candidates to succeed GOP Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sihk) next year, plan to announce a joint ticket Thursday.

The pairing comes days after Democrat Richard Cordray left his job as federal consumer watchdog as he positions for an expected entry into the race.

Cordray, a former state attorney general and treasurer, is viewed as a larger threat to Republicans than any of the five Democrats running so far.

By forming a team, DeWine and Husted merge significant grassroots and fundraising efforts. That could prompt GOP contenders Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and Congressman Jim Renacci (reh-NAY’-see) to reconsider their campaigns.