Incumbents Bob Taft II (R) and Bruce Johnson (R) are term-limited. Also, Taft is the worst (and lowest-rated) governor in the nation. (Couldn't resist.)
Congressman, psychologist, ex-minister, and ex-college professor Ted Strickland (D-Lisbon) is the front-runner by a wide margin, but State Senator and 2004 Senatorial candidate Eric Fingerhut (D-Shaker Heights) is apparently quite serious about his bid to enter the race; he has filed a "designation of treasurer" form, allowing him to raise money for a primary campaign, and has sent out fundraising mailers and scheduled fundraising events. Former State Rep. Bryan Flannery (D-Strongsville) is a long shot. On the Republican side, evil Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) is solid with the religious right and is the front-runner, although current Attorney General Jim Petro (R) has gained in the race with an early blitz of TV ads portraying him as an extreme right winger on abortion and religion. State Auditor Betty Montgomery (R) is a serious candidate, although lagging, and lesser lights Pete Draganic (R) and Larry Bays (R) are also in the race.
Recent Rasmussen polling on this race was diaried by JOEL1954 here. This poll taken Jan.3, with a MoE of 4.5%. Stickland leads Blackwell 44-40, leads Petro 43-38, and leads Montgomery 49-33. Also, Strickland is rated favorably by 54% of respondents, up from 40% in November.
Secretary of State.
Incumbent Ken Blackwell (R) is running for governor.
Jennifer Brunner (D) was one Sherrod Brown's deputies in the 1980s, then was an elections attorney and Court of Common Pleas judge until she resigned in September to run for this office. She has been getting her name in the news and looks to be a strong candidate. (There were rumors that Toledo State Sen. Teresa Fedor (D) and Columbus City Councilwoman Charleta Tavares (D) might run, but apparently they will not.) On the other side it's between State Insurance Director Ann Womer Benjamin (R) and State Rep. Jim Trakas (R). County Clerk Greg Hartmann (R) and recent law school graduate Colin Beach (R) are also in the race.
Incumbent Jim Petro (R) is running for Governor.
Former Cleveland Law Director Subodh Chandra (D) and State Sen. Marc Dann (D) are active, well-qualified candidates on the Democratic side. For the other party it's State Sen. Tim Grendell (R) and perhaps Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien.
Appointed incumbent Jennette Bradley (R) will feel the heat in the Republican primary from well-heeled challenger John Hritz (R), the former chief executive of AK Steel. On the Democratic side it's between two county treasurers, Richard Cordray (D-Columbus) and Hugh Quill (D-Dayton).
Incumbent Betty Montgomery (R) is running for governor.