Continuing on with my series of lists of potential candidates for state governorships in 2014, Ohio is the next state to be featured as part of this series.
The incumbent Governor is Republican John Kasich, who defeated Democrat Ted Strickland in his bid for what would have been a second term in 2010. Kasich's signature accomplishment as Governor, Senate Bill 5, a bill stripping Ohio's public-sector workers of collective bargaining rights, was voted down in a referendum last fall, so Kasich is regarded as vulnerable heading into 2014.
List of Potential Candidates - Republicans
John Kasich, Governor
Mary Taylor, Lieutenant Governor
Jon Husted, Secretary of State
Josh Mandel, State Treasuer
Jim Jordan, U.S. Representative, OH-4
Bob Gibbs, U.S. Representative, OH-18
Rob Portman, U.S. Senator
Samuel Wurtzelbacher, celebrity also known as "Joe the Plumber"
My thoughts: If Kasich runs for a second term, I can't see anyone mounting a serious primary challenge to Kasich. If Kasich does not run for a second term, expect a wide-open primary on the GOP side, as the Republicans have a very deep bench to draw from.
List of potential candidates - Democrats
Ted Strickland, former Governor
Betty Sutton, U.S. Representative, OH-13
Dennis Kucinich, U.S. Representative, OH-10
Richard Cordray, Director of the U.S. Consumer Finance Protection Bureau
Ed FitzGerald, Cuyahoga County Executive
Tim Ryan, U.S. Representative, OH-17
My thoughts: There are probably many other names beyond the ones that I've mentioned. Cordray would probably be my first choice, although his views on social issues are virtually unknown, however, he is very intelligent, in fact, he was a contestant on the game show Jeopardy! prior to entering politics. Strickland is a Blue Dog from an area of the state that is a swing area in statewide elections, so he would be my second choice. Kucinich's political career is probably over, I don't think Sutton is interested in running for a state executive position, Ryan appears to be coy about his intentions, and FitzGerald appears to be a Cleveland Machine Democrat. Expect a wide-open primary on the Democratic side in any case.
The next four states that will be featured in this series are Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, in that order.
Previous state: Virginia
Next State: Michigan