Libertarian Hopes to Shake Up Governor's Race

The Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor took on his tax problems head-on in a conference call with reporters this week, but the call left many with as many questions as answers. Sen. Eric Kearney is no longer the Senate Minority Leader - he and Sen. Nina Turner stepped down from their leadership post to continue their campaigns on next year's ballot. Two controversial proposals on energy are moving in two different directions. It appears a plan to adjust Ohio's renewable energy and efficiency mandates has stalled for a second time amid opposition from environmental and consumer interests and some majority Republican lawmakers. And a proposal to increase the tax on oil and natural gas drillers is moving forward - this time with support from the oil and gas industry.

Next year’s race for governor promises to be an expensive and challenging one for the two major party candidates. There’s concern on both sides about voter frustration, and some have suggested is that a minor party candidate could have a real impact on the election – especially for the Republicans. Libertarian Charlie Earl is counting on that. Earl is a former Republican state representative who ran for secretary of state as a Libertarian in 2010. He’s planning on being back on the ballot next year facing Republican Gov. Kasich and Democrat Ed FitzGerald. And he says he’s going after the more than half of Ohio voters who say they’re unaffiliated or independent, because he’s unhappy with Kasich’s Medicaid expansion and other decisions the incumbent Republican has made.

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