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.”
Ohio's Republican and Democratic gubernatorial front-runners are headed toward a primary-free showdown, ending a shakeout marked by complaints that both major parties got too aggressive in pushing out challengers.
The Democrats had a primary looming until last Friday, when Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune quietly withdrew his late bid against Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.
Ohio Democrats are rolling out their full statewide ticket at an endorsement event hosted by abortion and women's health care provider Planned Parenthood.
Wednesday's event in Columbus signals the party's intention to make women's health issues a campaign theme as they seek to unseat Gov. John Kasich and the state's other Republican elected officials this fall.