Delaware County Prosecutor Dave Yost would love a chance to become Ohio's chief legal counselor and law enforcement officer, but he won't seek the office unless he's nominated by his party.

Delaware County Prosecutor Dave Yost would love a chance to become Ohio's chief legal counselor and law enforcement officer, but he won't seek the office unless he's nominated by his party.

Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann's resignation on May 14 created political opportunities for Democrats and Republicans seeking to succeed him. Dann's resignation followed allegations of sexual harassment involving his staff, his own marital infidelities and possible other misdeeds.

Delaware County entered that discussion after Yost, 51, in his second term as county prosecutor and currently on the November ballot to seek a third, formally notified the Ohio Republican Party of his interest in the position.

While Yost would jump at the opportunity to run for attorney general in November, he said he wouldn't enter the race unless he is nominated by the Ohio Republican Party's Central Committee.

"All I've done is express interest to the chairman," he said. "I certainly would not run against the Republican Central Committee's nominee. I would support that person.

"My whole life has been about the rule of law," Yost said. "That seems to have somehow gotten lost by the prior attorney general.

"I would like to serve my state by bringing it back."

Last Wednesday, Democratic Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland named Nancy Hardin Rogers, dean of Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law, as attorney general. She will serve until voters on Nov. 4 choose a successor to Dann, a Democrat.

According to published reports, Rodgers has no interest in running for the office, leaving the field open to Democratic hopefuls.

Meanwhile, state GOP officials will seek to nominate a candidate to run for the statewide office by late August, Jason Mauk, executive director of the Ohio Republican Party, said.

"We have asked a group of party leaders to look at the backgrounds and qualifications of a long list of candidates," Mauk said. "(A party nomination) has to be done before Aug. 20. We expect to do it long before that date."

Mauk said Yost is the only Republican to have formally expressed interest in running for attorney general.

"We have not formally solicited (candidates)," Mauk said. "I don't really have a list to share at this time."

Mauk said the GOP is looking into any legal issues that would affect Republicans currently on November ballots seeking other elected offices who also are potential nominees for the attorney general's office. He said the nominee likely would be required to abandon his or her candidacy for another public office if he or she were on the ballot to become attorney general.

Various news outlets throughout Ohio have speculated Ohio Treasurer Richard Cordray and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason are among Democratic candidates to run for attorney general.

In addition to Yost, former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien have been mentioned in news reports as possible Republican candidates.

Yost acknowledged that he may lack the statewide name recognition to gain the Republican nomination, saying "the stars would have to align."

Yost is uncontested on the November ballot for the county prosecutor's office. Asked how a nomination to run for attorney general would affect his bid for re-election, he said, "That's a bridge I'll cross if I get there. It's all very flattering that I would be considered, but I'm really focused on the job I have now."

A Big Walnut High School graduate, class of 1975, Yost is a former Delaware County auditor and Delaware city councilman. He also served under former Columbus Mayor Dana "Buck" Rinehart and former Ohio Gov. George Voinovich and was a reporter for the Columbus Citizen Journal.