Ohio statewide 2018 political races already crowded with candidates

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio’s statewide field for 2018 is crowded and raucous already – a full year ahead of the traditional campaign high season.

Eight major-party candidates have entered or soon will enter the race to succeed Republican Gov. John Kasich, who’s term-limited. That means both Republicans and Democrats will see busy spring primaries to pick their nominees.

Down-ticket races for attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer and auditor also are getting interesting, as Republicans depart the positions due to term limits. That provides opportunities for aspiring Republicans and openings for Democrats after 2014’s bruising defeats.

In the U.S. Senate race, Republican Treasurer Josh Mandel and Cleveland banker Mike Gibbons are seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown next fall.