COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is urging state lawmakers to get in front of a potential ballot issue by legalizing sports betting.

The Republican gubernatorial candidate told The Columbus Dispatch Tuesday that Ohio must act "right away" to prevent special interests from going to the ballot and determining how sports betting is regulated and where the money goes.

Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine greets supporters at his home in Cedarville, Ohio, on Sunday after announcing he is running for governor. 
Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine greets supporters at his home in Cedarville, Ohio, on Sunday after announcing he is running for governor. 

That statement differed from the DeWine campaign's initial response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that says states can authorize sports betting. A spokesman initially said DeWine opposed the expansion of gambling, including sports betting. Campaign manager Dave Luketic clarified that the spokesman provided the information before checking with DeWine.

MORE | What the Supreme Court's ruling on sports betting means for you

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray expressed support for a sports betting law that ensures proper regulation and generates revenue for local communities.

JIMMY'S TAKE | Will movement of legalizing sports gambling lead to NCAA paying college athletes?