2014 Governor's Race Rumblings

Already people are starting to read the tea leaves about 2014 and who will be running for governor of Ohio.

The only sure thing is that our current governor is a failure. During the campaign, he said he wouldn't run for a second term, and I believe that's true. I honestly don't see increased popularity on the horizon for him and he can make 10 or 15 or 20 times as much going back to Fox "News" and making speeches for big dollars to adoring right-wing groups. He'll try to give away as much taxpayer property as he can to his cronies as quickly as he can and head out the door to greener pastures. I don't see him trying for another term.

That leaves secretary of state Jon Husted, whose tongue is practically hanging out of his mouth salivating over this. (Anyone remember him blasting Maryellen O'Shaughnessy for her alleged ambition for higher office?) He seems to already be angling to put as much space between himself and the toxic Kasich as he can, anticipating like the rest of us, that Kasich won't change his spots and won't get any more popular.

There's stuff like this:


Reading the tea leaves and the nearly 500,000 million signatures gathered to place the repeal of voter suppression bill HB 194 on this November's ballot, Husted says the whole thing should be bagged and replaced.

Ohio’s top election official says state lawmakers should repeal and replace a controversial new elections law rather than allowing voters to weigh in on it in November. Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted told a gathering of election officials Wednesday that he believes Ohio should start over on the process after the 2012 presidential election. He made the call despite the legislation containing many of his own ideas.

LOL. At least there's a man that realizes when the public is saying "Hold your horses!," something Kasich is impervious to.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, we're starting to hear once again about Youngstown Congressman Tim Ryan's aspirations to the governor's mansion. Those rumors were bandied about extensively back in 2009 when Ryan declined to jump into the race for the retiring George Voinovich's Senate seat, which many expected him to run for.

And the buzz about former Governor Strickland thinking about making a comeback got a jolt this week, when Strickland jumped into the fray with public comments about the Republican presidential primary and this:

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland told reporters on a conference call Monday morning that he was invited to the White House last week to speak to President Obama in a private one-on-one meeting about the president's State of the Union address tomorrow and Ohio politics.


That certainly sounds like a guy who wants to be back in the thick of things. I personally have mixed feelings about that. Unlike the grumblebums who complained vaguely about Strickland's tenure as governor, unable to say what they disliked and who consequently let the destructive Kasich slip into office with 49% of the vote, I think Strickland was a really good governor. I think some of his political judgments about other candidates were deeply flawed and cost us that seat.

But I'm also thinking about the array of talent rising up in the Democratic Party in Ohio. In addition to the 38-year-old Ryan, there's 40-year-old David Pepper, who ran a strong if losing campaign in his first statewide race for auditor in 2010, and Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald, who's in his mid 40s. And don't count out former Ohio attorney general Rich Cordray, who was being touted as a likely candidate prior to heading to Washington to serve in the Obama administration where he now heads the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

By the time Kasich has finished making wreckage of Ohio, any one of them could probably trounce Husted or any other Republican. Given that Husted and Kasich are not exactly friendly, you almost have to feel sorry for Husted that he'll have to run with that anchor tied around his ankles.

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