COLUMBUS -- Ted Strickland has announced he will not seek election as Governor of Ohio in 2014.
Strickland, a Democrat, was defeated in 2010 by Republican challenger, John Kasich. Kasich, a former investment banker and congressman, unseated Strickland as he sought a second term in 2010. It was the most expensive governor's race in Ohio history.
Strickland's departure from the race leaves Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan among remaining Democratic challengers to Kasich next year.
Here is the statement as released by Strickland:
"Today, I am announcing my decision not to seek election as Governor of Ohio in 2014.
"In many ways, this has been a very difficult decision. I look back fondly on my time as Ohio's 68th Governor -and am proud of my Administration's efforts to guide our state through the greatest national economic crisis since the Great Depression. With the help of my First Lady -- Frances Strickland-- my dedicated and loyal Cabinet, and my incredibly hard-working Executive Staff, we held the ship steady. With the help of President Obama, who provided the funds necessary to keep Ohio and all of America from slipping into another Great Depression, we were able to preserve the social safety net, make important investments in education, and position Ohio's economy for the recovery that started in February 2010.
"And when I look back on my four years as Governor, I am equally proud of those in the Strickland Administration who served the public with honor, integrity, and humility. We sought to make Ohio better.
"My administration was about positioning Ohio as a leader in our rapidly changing economy and global world. We worked to rebuild our infrastructure with a special effort to make sure the national system for rail transportation included Ohio. We worked to ensure there were more Ohioans with affordable health care coverage. We significantly improved our national standing in public education, made sure it did not suffer from deep cuts during the economic crises, and worked to satisfy the Supreme Court's ruling for equitable funding with a new formula that was less dependent on property taxes. We enacted a comprehensive energy reform bill that helped to stabilize the energy market for consumers and business while creating a renewable portfolio standard that has positioned Ohio as a leader in advanced energy. And, we made college more affordable. Most significant for jobs, we were leaders in investments in alternatives sources of energy and went to bat for the automobile industry; working closely with President Obama on the rescue plan that has been so pivotal in Ohio's economic recovery.
"In short, I believe my Administration stood and spoke for the causes that count."