COLUMBUS (AP) - Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor says the merger of two well-known, well-funded fellow Republicans onto a single ticket won't drive her from the race for governor.

Taylor said Thursday that Ohioans want "a governor who will challenge the status quo, not accede to it."

Her statement followed the announcement that Attorney General Mike DeWine has picked a rival candidate, Secretary of State Jon Husted, as his running mate. By teaming up, the powerhouse duo combines statewide grassroots operations and combined campaign coffers totaling about $9 million.

Taylor has served two terms as lieutenant governor to Republican Gov. John Kasich, who is term-limited.

She said the 70-year-old DeWine "is the past" and her campaign represents the future. The 51-year-old is the only Republican woman running for a statewide office.