COLUMBUS -- Ohio's Republican and Democratic gubernatorial front-runners are ready to gear up for a November showdown amid complaints both major parties got too aggressive in pushing out challengers.
A little-known Democrat from the Dayton area also filed for the race before Wednesday's afternoon deadline. However, a Montgomery County Democratic official told newspaper reporters that Larry Ealy had past problems qualifying to run. Candidates for governor must have petitions with signatures of 1,000 registered voters that have to be verified by elections officials before they get on the ballot.
A phone listing for Ealy wasn't working Wednesday evening.
The Democrats had a primary fight looming as recently as last Friday, before Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune quietly withdrew his late bid against Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.
The Republican primary field was clear for first-term Gov. John Kasich as a potential tea party challenge fell through.