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Government and Politics

Democrats are already lining up to unseat Kasich
The Ohio Democratic Party started planning the campaign as soon as President Obama and Sen. Sherrod Brown were re-elected
This story is part of a special series.

Karen Kasler
Democrats are already considering who to run against John Kasich in 2014
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Ohioans are still recovering from the brutal, expensive political marathon that the 2012 campaign was. But Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler says some partisans were thinking ahead to the next campaign at the party on election night.

Kasler on governor campaign

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Not long after the state of Ohio was projected for President Obama, and a few hours after Sen. Sherrod Brown was declared re-elected, staffers with the Ohio Democratic Party started distributing pre-printed signs throughout the jubiliant crowd. The signs read: “Kasich – You’re Next” on one side, and “2014 Can’t Come Soon Enough” on the other.

“John Kasich will not run unopposed for the next two years. He just flat out won’t. We will challenge him every step of the way.”

Quick start to the campaign

Ohio Democratic Party chair Chris Redfern says the party doesn’t have a candidate he can name, but he says because Republicans will likely raise as much as $50 million dollars for the 2014 governor’s race, the Democrats are starting their campaign – quoting him – as soon as possible. But Ohio State political science professor Paul Beck says after the political climate Ohioans have subjected to over the last year, it’s too soon.

“It is quite frankly premature. We need to let the present play out a little more. I can understand the desire to kind of capture this momentum and can it and use it for the next contest, but I think most voters are tired of the focus of the past year on a very intense campaign.”

Victory lap

Polls have shown Kasich’s approval ratings have been steadily rising, from 30% a week after taking office in January 2011 to 49% at the end of last month. When asked whether the signs and the talk of the 2014 governor’s campaign so soon after such a close presidential win might be seen by some as hubris, Redfern responds:

“This governor doesn’t know how to spell hubris, much less define it.”

There were rumblings that John Kasich would run for governor three years before the 2010 race. So far, former Gov. Ted Strickland, who was very visible as he campaigned for Obama, has been mentioned as a possible candidate for his old office, along with federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director and former Attorney General Richard Cordray and Youngstown area Congressman Tim Ryan.

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