Late entry into down-ticket statewide races by Democratic candidates could hurt their chances

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The filing deadline for candidates who want to run for statewide office in Ohio is Wednesday. Those offices are all now occupied by Republicans, and some Democratic down-ticket statewide candidates are just announcing their bids for office.

Democratic candidates for treasurer and auditor are just launching their campaigns. They join Jeffrey Crossman, running for attorney general. He announced in December. And Secretary of State candidate Chelsea Clark who announced her bid for that office last July. But none of the candidates are well-known statewide.

Paul Beck, Ohio State University political science professor, says waiting so long to announce will likely hurt them.

“It’s important because particularly for people without name recognition, they really need to have enough financing to get on television and also to hire a staff,” Beck says.

Beck says raising money will be a challenge for the Democratic candidates, plus the predictions that the midterm election will be a bad year for Democrats will make it even harder.

But Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Matt Keyes says the party doesn’t believe their candidates will be hurt by the later than usual start.

“We’re confident that our candidates will have the resources they need to get their message out and tell their story to Ohio voters, drawing the contrast with Republicans who, as you know are embroiled in the largest public corruption scandal in state history and the Democrats who are laser-focused on the needs of working families.”

The Democrats will be running against Republican incumbents, all of whom already have established war chests for their re-election bids.

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