November 2014 is fast approaching, and while the national narrative focuses on the US Senate, other races at the state level and below are in play.
In Ohio, the highest profile contest is the gubernatorial race between incumbent Republican Governor John Kasich and Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald. Kasich narrowly defeated incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland in 2010, a year that was friendly to the GOP. Polling data indicates that Kasich is a fairly safe bet to maintain his office come November. Economic conditions have noticeably improved in the state during his term and he has few public black eyes (namely the Senate Bill 5 fight early in his term, which by now is ancient history to most observers outside of organized labor).
All statewide offices are contested, as well, but recent history shows the results of these races typically follow the gubernatorial race. Incumbent Republicans are currently the Attorney General (Mike DeWine), Auditor (Dave Yost), Secretary of State (John Husted), and Treasurer (Josh Mandel). All four would seem to be in good shape for reelection.
Again, the US Senate is dominating the national conversation, but neither of Ohio’s Senate seats is up for grabs this year. Even contested local House seats are drawing scant media attention and incumbents seem safe bets to win, including long-time Dayton-area Rep. Mike Turner.
At the county level, Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley is up for reelection in an interesting race. The Democrat will face off against Republican challenger Mike Nolan as well as former Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell, an independent. The former mayor will look to see if his political independence can win over voters county wide as it did in the City of Dayton.
For now, it is far too early for incredibly interesting developments. More news will surely break as the calendar turns to September and October. We will offer notable analysis as events demand.