From the Dispatch:

U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland, the Democratic frontrunner for governor, will announce Thursday that Lee Fisher — former attorney general and gubernatorial candidate himself — will be his running mate.

On the other side of it, word on Blackwell is this:

In a related development, there are indications that Republican gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell may pick state. Rep. Tom Raga of Mason as his running mate.

I’m sure there will be plenty of reaction from the NEO blogosphere as both the rumored sidekick and the chosen one are from the area.

Update: Fingerhut comments (via email 1/25 10:46pm):

“Lee Fisher is a good friend, who has served with great distinction in public office. I wish him the best in this campaign. However, this campaign is about the future, not the past. And it’s about which candidate — Eric Fingerhut or Ted Strickland — has the ability, knowledge and plan to move Ohio forward and create the good jobs that all Ohioans need today and in the future. I know I’m that candidate and I look forward to this contest.”

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  • Lee Fisher…ehhhhhhh?!
    (sound denotes not quite displeasure – not quite excitment – it’s the sound one makes when at age 12 they get socks for Christmas.)

  • this is the biggest mistake ted strickland’s campaign has made yet, and may have given fingerhut a chance to slam dunk this primary if he can convince Peter Lawson Jones to be his running mate.

    of all the alchemy calculations that the strickland campaign seems to be entirely based upon, the idea that, hey, let’s combat the NE Ohio Jewish opponent by putting a NE Ohio Jew on the ticket, is really quite offensive, insulting to the primary electorate, and worst of all, stupid.

    Lee Fisher is so yesterday’s news, it isn’t even funny. I suppose Strickland is attempting to somehow freeze Eric’s fundraising base, but again, as with the entire Strickland Alchemy, it’s theory is too clever by half. That base is quite happy and capable to hedge bets and donate to both campaigns, and if forced to make a choice, would certainly rather give TO a guy who might be governor rather than THROUGH a guy who might be lt. governor.

    And whatever base Lee Fisher may have had when he LOST FOR GOVERNOR IN 1998 to….drum roll please….BOB TAFT….it is well gone now. Repeat. Lee Fisher lost to Bob Taft for governor only 8 years ago. What this man brings to the ticket is beyond my comprehension. Someone should ask him if he plans to give up his $300,000 a year salary at a non-profit if he wins…given the double dipping inherent in the Strickland camp (see Redfern) it is an entirely legitimate question.

    Back to the stupidity part. Compared to the base of Peter Lawson Jones, a sitting county commisioner in the biggest county in the primary, who could bring close to 80% of the 11th Congressional district electorate with him, Lee Fisher is a sad joke. Perhaps Peter doesn’t want to run on this ticket, or any ticket, but if he was interested, to pick Lee over Peter is an astoundingly poor decision.

    The way is open for Eric to make a statement about diversity in the party, lock up his base in NE Ohio, and potentially win this primary by his LG pick ALONE. Here’s hoping that Peter is interested.

  • Pingback: Plunderbund » Russo on Strickland’s Pick: Big Mistake()

  • Jason

    I think Fisher is a great addition to the Strickland campaign. He’s the last statewide office holder for the dems, can raise money with the best of them, and gives the ticket a NEO presence. I also think Lawson Jones would have been a great addition as well, but I don’t think Strickland could have went wrong with either of them.
    You bring up the fact that Fisher lost to Taft 8 years ago, do you forget that Fingerhut was blown away by Voinivich 1 year, 3 months ago. What NEO base are you talking about, he didn’t even win Cuyahoga County! Folks have to realize that NEO doesn’t carry the state anymore. Mr. Fingerhut can’t relate to the folks outside Shaker Heights. He can’t raise money, he barely broke the $1 million dollar mark in his Senate debacle. People want to give to winners and they realize Eric isn’t one. He’d be better off (and better for the party) if he’d consider dropping out and running for Secretary of State.

  • I’m not saying I’m thrilled with Fingerhut, but this pick doesn’t give me anything to cheer about. A guy who lost to Montgomery and Taft, and last won office over a decade ago? Isn’t the idea to not get our asses kicked again?

  • Modern Esquire

    Name the last time Eric won a statewide election??? Never? And how recently was his defeat??

    Of course Russo wants us to focus on the fact that Fisher lost to Taft, but wants us to overlook the sound thumping and complete lack of campaign skills Fingerhut showed against Voinovich.

    After all, how is Fingerhut any less of a failed candidate of the past than Fisher? I haven’t seen much excitement for his candidacy and he can’t seem to get around his dismall performance last time.

    Let’s see, Strickland has most of the large endorsements of the Democratic establishment, has a well-known name on his ticket which will help his continuing progress in Cleveland Ohio in gaining supporters.

    Why would Peter Lawson Jones add his name to another failed Democratic gubernatorial ticket? Or did Russo forget the Burch/Jones ticket of 1994 when the Democratic gubernatorial ticket got less than 25% of the vote?

    I guarantee you Jones hasn’t forgetten it.

  • Modern Esquire

    FYI- Russo-

    Peter Lawson Jones has already endorsed Strickland, so I seriously doubt he’s going to pull his endorsement and run on the Fingerhut ticket.


    ?We are here today because we know that this man will be a strong governor who can lead this state back to greatness again,? said Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones.

    ?Ted Strickland gets it: he gets what average, hard working Ohioans are faced with and what they are struggling for. He comes from humble beginnings. The eighth of nine children, the son of a steel worker, born in rural Ohio ? he was not to the manor born,? said Jones. ?He really embodies the realization of the American Dream. But he wants to make sure that the American Dream can be realized by all Ohioans, regardless of where they live, their race or their ethnicity, or which day they worship. He wants to make sure that everybody can realize the American Dream.?

  • David

    Personally, I feel Strickland would have been better off bringing in a new name than to rehash Fisher. But I can’t really offer any insights in that regard. I recently moved out of the state, but I was wondering if the name of Mark Mallory was floated any. He could bring some Hamilton County votes while also evening the ticket racially (assuming Blackwell comes out as the Republican candidate, which he will). Nonetheless, Ohio Dems, time to start gearing up for a Stickland run for governor – he is much better positioned than Fingerhut.

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