Strickland, now 71, the Democratic incumbent at the time, narrowly lost to Kasich, a Republican. in 2010 in a politically bloody contest in a campaign cycle that heavily favored GOP candidates nationally. His early determination not to run in 2014 clears the field for other potential Democratic challengers to begin fundraising and building a campaign infrastructure, Politico reported Tuesday.
The early front-runner to get the Democratic nod to challenge Kasich is Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald. Other potential candidates include Richard Cordray, the recently named head of the Consumer Fraud Protection Bureau, and Rep. Tim Ryan.
Politico said polls suggest Kasich, 60, may be vulnerable, with just 36 percent of voters in the Buckeye State saying he deserves another term.