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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Kasich rebounding from rocky start

Gov. John Kasich has seemingly rebounded from a rocky political start as governor to now enjoy his highest approval rating since he became governor in January 2011.

For the first time, Kasich’s job approval rating has risen to more than 50 percent, according to a new poll released by Quinnipiac University.

The survey found that 53 percent approve of Kasich with 32 percent against. In December, the governor had a 42 to 35 percent approval rating.

Quinnipiac also took a look at some potential challengers to Kasich in 2014. The governor hasn’t officially announced a re-election bid, but all signs point to him running again.

Here’s what the poll that surveyed 1,011 registered voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent found when comparing Kasich to four potential Democrats who might consider challenging the governor. None have officially announced a gubernatorial campaign.

Kasich led 45-35 against Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald; 44-39 over U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray; 44-36 against U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles; and 45-38 over former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton of Copley.

It is worth pointing out that Kasich does not receive more than 50 percent against any potential candidate, but it may cause some potential opponents to think twice about a statewide run.

At first glance, the poll indicated FitzGerald has the most ground to make up, and Cordray would be the closest to Kasich in terms of percentage points.

Cordray is prohibited from discussing politics while in his federal role and I wonder if his status among Ohioans would rise if he decided to run for governor.

Of course this is just one poll and it’s too early to make significant judgments now because much could change over the next year.

But what it does suggest is that the governor has made a bit of a political comeback after a stinging loss when he was vocal proponent of Senate Bill 5 in November 2011, a measure that aimed to strip away collective bargaining powers. It was soundly repealed by a statewide referendum and many blamed Kasich for the defeat.

Democrats were riding a wave of momentum after that victory and it likely helped during the 2012 president campaign that saw President Barack Obama carry Ohio.

The poll also comes after Kasich released his budget proposal that contains a blend of tax reform proposals and an expansion of Medicaid among the most popularly discussed items so far.

What makes the budget proposal even more interesting is both parties see in it things they like and don’t like.

As I've written before, I believe there will be compromises needed by both parties to hammer out the final details of this state’s two-year budget.

Kasich to headline Lake GOP dinner

The governor will be the featured speaker April 3 for the Lake County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner at the American Croatian Lodge in Eastlake. Tables will only be reserved for pre-paid parties of eight and VIPs. All other seating will be open. For more information, contact party headquarters or visit

Taken out petitions

Amy Zuren recently took out petitions with the Lake County Elections Board for Willoughby-Eastlake School Board.

Filed petitions

Janet A. Dowling has filed petitions to run for Mentor Council at large.


n Re-election kickoff party for Mentor Municipal Court Judge John Trebets, 5 to 8 p.m. March 7 at Holiday Inn Express LaMalfa Centre in Mentor. See Ed or Cindy Hughes.

n Re-election kickoff for Eastlake Mayor Ted Andrzejewski, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 21 at Patrician Party, Eastlake. See Ted or Patricia Andrzejewski.

n Lake County Commissioner Robert E. Aufuldish hosts St. Patrick’s Day Celebration 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 12 at LaMalfa Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites. See Kathie Aufuldish-Freshour or Ernie Koenig.

n Concord Township Trustees Paul Malchesky and Christopher Galloway re-election fundraiser is rescheduled to 5 to 7 p.m. April 1 at Harry Buffalo in Painesville Township. See Malchesky, Galloway or Connie Luhta.

n Dennis Morley will host a kickoff fundraiser for his Eastlake mayor campaign, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 17 at Trader Jack’s Riverside Grille in Eastlake. See Donna Vaughn or Barb Morley.

John Arthur Hutchison

Twitter: @newheraldjah

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