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Candidates file for Ohio offices as FitzGerald taunts Kasich with gov 'Pledge'

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Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich is no stranger to pledges. When he was elected in 2010, he signed Grover Norquist's Taxpayer Protection Pledge earlier that year.

The Pledge is Norquist's compact 23-word document that forever binds whomever signs it to "oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business, and to oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates, no matter what the circumstances may be at the time."

In 2012, Kasich's Press Secretary Rob Nichols told CGE by phone, "We're not backing away from anything. We haven't said or done anything to back away from The Pledge."

On Thursday, this year's deadline date for candidates to file their papers, another pledge surfaced that Gov. Kasich won't rush to sign.

This pledge, issued by Cuyahoga County Executive and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed Fitzgerald, challenges Gov. Kasich, whose name has surfaced in Republican circles as an outlier candidate to enter the GOP presidential sweepstakes in 2016, and Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl, to be a full-time governors if elected this fall.

"Each of us understands that in running for governorship of the State of Ohio and guiding our state is a great responsibility. Therefore, as candidates for our respective parties each of us pledges, when elected governor, to serve out the four year term for which we are running in the 2014 general election," read the pledge.

The political point of Team FitzGerald's 54-word work document is to corner Gov. Kasich between his undisguised and nondenied ambition to reenter the national spot, this time as an RGA-approved "comeback governor" whose theology of governing built on making the public sector the handmaiden of the private sector can do for America what it's done for Ohio.

Kasich has accumulated vulnerabilities over the last three years, including signing the biggest budget in state history, erroneously thinking he would captain a secret state jobs group a Republican General Assembly approved until his ambition took a back seat to the Ohio Constitution, placing Ohio high among states that have erected steep hurdles for women who seek to exercise their constitutional right to health care and abortion, and performing below average on his biggest promise of all, creating jobs.

When key parts of his second biennial budget were eliminated or drastically reworked by a friendly Republican legislature, some critics called Kasich's leadership talents into question, while others said it further demonstrated his oversized mindset and ego that he's the messiah of reform.

Team Kasich will defend the Ohio "comeback" narrative at all costs to keep the former nine-term congressman's presidential possibilities alive. But to move from an outlier to center stage in the buzzworld of GOP presidential politics, Gov. Kasich must muscle up with a strong victory in November. An election that smacks of his skinny 77,127 statewide vote margin in 2010 will only keep doubts alive that he doesn't have the political punch to know out the Democrats widely expected choice, Hillary Clinton, in a national contest.

Whether Ed FitzGerald or Charlie Earl, if elected, will spend the next four years as governor is not in question. They will.

It is a question for Gov. Kasich, though, who if pressed likely would respond that God gave him his political talents for a reason, and being locked up as governor of battleground state he couldn't deliver for Mitt Romney in 2012, and barely won himself in 2010, is the Lord's plan when visions of moving into the White House dance in his head. But with the Charlie Earl-Libertarian Party factor in play, and national political watchers of repute drifting Ohio's race for governor between "tilting Republican" one day and "Toss Up" the next, anything less than a big victory in November would cause Republican and independent voters to not take him seriously in 2016.

As Ohio's 62-year old go-go, CEO-style governor, John Kasich enjoys the national attention ladled on him as a "comeback governor." Team FitzGerald is also reminding Ohio voters that Kasich tried once before, unsuccessfully, to enter presidential politics in 2000. But the glib governor soon realized he wasn't the GOP's messiah that year, the eldest son of a vice president from Texas claimed that honor.

Gov. Kasich and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who will again be his running mate this year, had petitions containing about 3,000 signatures from Republicans in each of Ohio’s 88 counties.delivered to the Office of Secretary of State.

Former state representative Charlie Earl, the Libertarian candidate whose campaign could become a factor in Kasich's road to reelection, also filed petitions listing Sherry L. Clark as his running mate.

Dennis S. Spisak, who ran on the Green Party ticket four years ago, will do so again this year with the addition of Suzanne Patzer as his running mate.

Other political filings included the following offices and candidates:

Attorney General
Incumbent Republican Mike DeWine
Democrat David Pepper
Libertarian Steven R. Linnabary

Auditor of State
Incumbent Republican Dave Yost
Democrat John Patrick Carney
Libertarian Robert Coogan

Secretary of State
Incumbent Republican Jon Husted
Democrat Nina Turner
Libertarian Aaron Harris

Treasurer of State
Incumbent Republican Josh Mandel
Democrat Connie Pillich
Libertarian Marc Allen Feldman

Ohio Supreme Court
Justice Sharon L. Kennedy, a Republican
Democrat Tom Letson
Justice Judith French, a Republican
Democrat John P. O’Donnell

The news article Candidates file for Ohio offices as FitzGerald taunts Kasich with gov 'Pledge' appeared first on Columbus Government Examiner.

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