Monday, January 28, 2013

All eyes on Betty Sutton as Ohio Democrats put together their statewide slate for 2014: Analysis

Your move, Betty Sutton.

With former Gov. Ted Strickland content on the sidelines and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald promising an announcement soon on his potential gubernatorial campaign, all Democratic eyes are on the former congresswoman.

After losing to Republican Rep. Jim Renacci last fall in a battle of incumbents, Sutton also is considering a bid for governor in 2014. But party insiders eager to avoid a costly primary are privately picturing Sutton in a down-ballot statewide race where her name-recognition and fundraising capabilities could help them unseat some other GOP officeholder.

Speculation that she might run for something else -- and until Sutton acknowledges an interest in any job besides governor it is merely that -- adds suspense to the party's early efforts to settle a slate. The primary is more than a year away, but several Democrats are prepared to launch bids for attorney general, auditor and secretary of state.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman on Josh Mandel's failed Senate bid: 'You're going to get me in trouble'

Ask U.S. Sen. Rob Portman about Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in Ohio and you'll hear plenty of thoughtful reflection.

But ask Portman about another Buckeye State failure for the GOP last year -- Josh Mandel's loss to Sen. Sherrod Brown -- and listen as he struggles to find the right words.

"Oh gosh," the Cincinnati-area Republican said Friday when asked during a meeting with The Plain Dealer's editorial board what advice he might have for Mandel.

"You're going to get me in trouble."

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland to pass on rematch with John Kasich

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland unfroze the Democratic field for his old job Tuesday, opting against a 2014 rematch with Republican incumbent John Kasich.

The thaw might well end with Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald atop the party's ticket.

Strickland, in a statement, said his decision was "very difficult" but offered no reason for taking a pass. The decision, first reported by The Plain Dealer, also ends months of speculation by removing the party's obvious front-runner and leaving FitzGerald as the best positioned among a crop of top-tier prospects for the Democratic nomination.

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