CLEVELAND - A big part of running for office involves opposition research but very often in Ohio, it's research that the candidates have already done. Yes, the state may be home to roughly 11.5 million people but when it comes to elections it's very often the same names on the ballot.
Consider the familiarity among some of the names on the 2018 ballot in the race for governor, for example, we could possibly end up with a November ballot of Republican Mike DeWine vs. Democrat Richard Cordray which would be a rematch of the 2010 race for Ohio attorney general in which DeWine beat the then incumbent Cordray.
DeWine himself knows the sting of defeat having lost his 2006 re-election bid to the U.S. Senate to Sherrod Brown who gave up a seat in Congress to run for the post, a seat that was filled by Richard Cordray's now running mate former Rep. Betty Sutton who in turn lost the seat a few years later in re-districting in a head to head matchup with Rep. Jim Renacci who is now hoping to challenge Brown for his Senate seat after dropping out of the Republican race for governor where he was up against DeWine.
It should also be noted that a small portion of the Brown - Sutton - Renacci congressional district was once represented by Rep. Dennis Kucinich who will announce Wednesday his plans to challenge the Cordray and Sutton ticket for the Democratic nomination for governor. Kucinich also ran for Ohio Secretary of State in 1982, a primary he lost to? Sherrod Brown.
Of course that race was after Kucinich lost his re-election bid for mayor of Cleveland to George Voinovich who went on to win an Ohio governor's race with his running mate... Mike DeWine.
Technically this will be Kucinich's second run for governor having briefly mounted a 1986 run as an independent, a race that was eventually won by Democrat Dick Celeste whose brother in 2000 mounted a run for the U.S. Senate defeating Richard Cordray in the primary before losing to Mike DeWine.
If nothing else, the above illustrates the importance and power of name recognition when it comes to Ohio elections.