With former governor Ted Strickland withdrawing his name from consideration in the 2014 gubernatorial race, the path is clear for another Democrat to step up and deny Ohio’s Republican governor, John Kasich, a second term.
Right now, Tim Scott is an unfamiliar name to most Americans. If he chooses to run against Kasich, his name recognition will quickly go up. If he wins, he won’t only be well known, he’ll be a hero for the Democratic Party, and surely be discussed as a presidential candidate in 2016.
Democrats are upset that they were unable to unseat Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who passed some measures unfriendly toward unions. Kasich followed Walker’s lead. While Walker was able to successfully fight off a recall election, Kasich will now be the main target for vengeful unions. Bringing him down in 2014 would make Tim Ryan a white knight for the Democratic Party.
The thirty-nine-year-old rank-and-file Democrat played quarterback in John F. Kennedy High School, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Bowling Green State University, and a Juris Doctor from Franklin Pierce Law Center. From 2000-2002, he served in the Ohio State Senate, then won election to the United States House of Representatives, becoming the youngest Democrat in that assembly. He won four of six of his elections to the House with over seventy percent of the vote.
Previously, when questioned about a possible gubernatorial bid, Ryan has said he wanted to wait and see whether Strickland, a friend and mentor, chose to run. With Strickland’s exit, Ryan should be getting more questions about his intentions for statewide office.
While Ryan is virtually unknown to most Americans, he also has little name recognition in Ohio. A May 2012 poll showed 68% of Ohioans unsure who he was, but still said they’d vote for him over Kasich by a 41-40% split. Another poll conducted a month later gave the Republican governor a 41-33% lead, with 72% of Republicans and 68% of Democrats unsure about Ryan.
A victory in 2014 could set up a humorous matchup. Tim Ryan could become the Democratic nominee for President in 2016 against Republican Paul Ryan.
Ryan-Ryan 2016, anyone?