COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Democrat Ted Strickland won't run again for governor in 2014, removing a key competitor to incumbent Republican John Kasich from the field.
Strickland said in a statement Tuesday that he stands by his record as governor and wont' seek the office again.
Kasich, a former investment banker and congressman, unseated Strickland as he sought a second term in 2010. It was among the most expensive governor's race in Ohio history, with combined spending approaching $34 million.
Strickland's decision leaves Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan among the top potential Democratic challengers to Kasich next year.
FitzGerald is a former FBI agent and mayor tapped to lead Ohio's most populous county out of scandal. Ryan is a six-term congressman from Youngstown first elected in 2002.
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The government of Ohio is composed of the executive branch, led by the Governor; the legislative branch, which comprises the Ohio General Assembly; and the judicial branch, which is led by the Supreme Court.