It’s official: the five Republicans and five Democrats who have been talked about for the five executive offices on the fall ballot have filed their paperwork, so the campaigns will soon begin in earnest.
The marquee race is of course Republican John Kasich against Democrat Ed FitzGerald for governor. Democratic strategist Sandy Theis says the fact that Kasich has raised five dollars for every dollar FitzGerald has campaign cash doesn’t mean much at this point.
“God, no, it’s not over," says Theis. "It’s very, very early. The incumbent always has a fundraising advantage.”
But Republican operative Mark Weaver says FitzGerald’s choice of abortion-rights backer Sharen Neuhardt as his lieutenant governor is interesting to him.
Filings with the Secretary of State’s office show neither FitzGerald nor Kasich will face a primary, but they will see Libertarian Charlie Earl on the fall ballot. And there are expected to be libertarians races for attorney general, auditor, secretary of state or treasurer as well. The entire Ohio House and half the Ohio Senate – are up this year too. But some of those major party candidates are going to have to make it through primaries in May to be on the ballot in November.