John Kasich, who beat the Democratic incumbent in 2010 by only two percentage points, won’t have Ted Strickland to kick around in 2014 because the governor whose term was snake-bitten by the Great Recession said Tuesday he won’t try for a rematch.
“In many ways, this has been a very difficult decision,” Strickland said in a statement. “I look back fondly on my time as Ohio’s 68th governor and am proud of my administration’s efforts to guide our state through the greatest national economic crisis since the Great Depression.”
On election night in Columbus in November, when Democrats celebrated the victory by Barack Obama had in Ohio, Ted Strickland said then that he wouldn’t take on Gov. Kasich again, but that he would support anyone who does.
Watch 60 Seconds Ohio to hear Strickland say he won’t run again.
Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern issued a statement on Mr. Strickland’s decision. “Former Governor Ted Strickland served honorably, positioning Ohio’s economy to emerge – starting in February 2010 – from the worst national recession since the Great Depression. Governor Strickland laid the foundation for our economic recovery, all while preserving the state’s social safety net, passing a budget with unanimous, bipartisan backing, championing transparency, and supporting schools and communities from every corner of Ohio. Now that Governor Strickland has announced his intentions, strong Democratic officeholders that are prepared to hold this Administration accountable for its anti-worker, anti-woman agenda that has unfairly skyrocketed local taxes can begin earnestly exploring why only 36% of Ohioans believe Governor John Kasich deserves to be re-elected.”
Ohio GOP Chairman Bob Bennett also weighed in on Strickland’s decision. “Ohio has made giant leaps in progress in two short years under John Kasich and it will be hard for any Democrat to argue why he shouldn’t continue to create jobs for hardworking Ohio families and put Ohio back on the right track.”
Strickland said that with the help of his wife Frances, his dedicated and loyal Cabinet, and his incredibly hard-working Executive Staff, the ship of state was held steady. President Obama, he said, provided the funds necessary to keep Ohio and all of America from slipping into another Great Depression, preserving the social safety net, making important investments in education, and positioning Ohio’s economy for the recovery that started in February 2010.
“And when I look back on my four years as Governor, I am equally proud of those in the Strickland Administration who served the public with honor, integrity, and humility. We sought to make Ohio better.”
Gov. Kasich has essentially taken credit for Ohio’s economic improvements since the height of the worst recession since the Great Depression, when the state’s unemployment rate held steady at 10.6 percent for six months, after which it started to decline, giving then candidate-Kasich a chance to step into a boat that was rising with the tide.
“My administration was about positioning Ohio as a leader in our rapidly changing economy and global world. We worked to rebuild our infrastructure with a special effort to make sure the national system for rail transportation included Ohio. We worked to ensure there were more Ohioans with affordable health care coverage. We significantly improved our national standing in public education, made sure it did not suffer from deep cuts during the economic crises, and worked to satisfy the Supreme Court’s ruling for equitable funding with a new formula that was less dependent on property taxes. We enacted a comprehensive energy reform bill that helped to stabilize the energy market for consumers and business while creating a renewable portfolio standard that has positioned Ohio as a leader in advanced energy. And, we made college more affordable. Most significant for jobs, we were leaders in investments in alternatives sources of energy and went to bat for the automobile industry; working closely with President Obama on the rescue plan that has been so pivotal in Ohio’s economic recovery. In short, I believe my Administration stood and spoke for the causes that count. Frances and I will continue to be politically active private citizens. We will continue to stand with working men and women to build a stronger Ohio —and to defeat anti-worker and anti-middle class legislation that may arise.”
As reported by USA Today, A Quinnipiac University poll taken in December found 43 percent of Ohio voters said they did not believe Kasich, a former House Budget Committee chairman, deserves a second term and 44 percent said another Republican should challenge him.
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