Coming off his failed attempt at toppling Nancy Pelosi in the House Democratic leadership, Rep. Tim Ryan (R-Ohio) is flirting with possibility of running for governor of his home state in 2018 when the seat will be vacant because of term limits on incumbent Republican governor John Kasich. According to Politico:
“Everyone says ‘He never runs … he flirts,’” he said at the Capitol on Thursday. “Well, you know, we got slaughtered in 2010 when the speaker wanted me to be lieutenant governor with [Ted] Strickland and then they wanted me to run for Senate last time. I was glad I didn’t do any of that.”
A decision about 2018 will similarly be based on his gut — and the economy under a Donald Trump presidency and Republican rule in Ohio.
“That’s the gamble everyone has to try to make,” he said. “Evaluate and try to anticipate as best you can and then once you decide to go, you just go, run hard.”
Ryan says he’s been getting recruitment calls and texts since his failed effort to oust Nancy Pelosi as the Democratic House leader, a bid that his detractors argued was about positioning himself for higher office in Ohio. He declined to give a timeframe for a decision — “I don’t want to put myself in a box,” he said — but suggested he’d “step away from everything for a couple weeks” and then reevaluate.
Other rumored Democrats interested in running to succeed Kasich include Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, Richard Cordray, the director of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who may be out of a job in a few weeks after the new administration takes office, former state representative Connie Pillich, former congresswoman Betty Sutton, and former state senator Joe Schiavoni.
On the Republican side, the Columbus Dispatch points out that all six Republicans elected to statewide executive office are term-limited out of their current jobs. Attorney General Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Jon Husted, and Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor are all said to have aspirations for the governorship.